Medical cleaning procedures increase in the era of COVID-19

Published 9:01 am Thursday, March 19, 2020

Health care facilities, like Medical Care, are boosting up their already practiced cleaning practices to keep the spread of germs, like COVID-19, to a minimum.

Steve Hopland, CEO of Medical Care, said that their facilities are cleaning frequently touched surfaces.

“Maintenance staff is wiping down frequently touched surfaces about every two hours, especially in the lobby and waiting areas,” he said. “This is along with doorknobs and other things people frequently touch.”

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The waiting room used to provide free coffee and water to individuals, however this has been taken out to minimize spreading any germs. Additionally, bathrooms are fully stocked on soap and hand sanitizer is also available for use.

To keep people home and out of offices, Medical Care is also encouraging people to renew prescriptions over the phone, along with Telehealth. He also said that those who are in the lobby for visits have been practicing social distancing pretty well on their own.

“Nobody wants to sit beside a sick person,” he said. “So they automatically social distance themselves.”

Dr. Arnold Hopland, founder of Medical Care, said that another reason for limited visits is to protect those who are at higher risk of getting sick.

“We are now encouraging people not to come in, but rather renewing on request unless there are changes to their situations,” he said.

Dr. Hopland, who has been on the front lines of the virus, says that vaccines are extremely important in combating it, and hopes the production of possible candidates against the virus can be sped up. Likewise, he said that as long as there are providers, Medical Care will be open to care for patients.

“We don’t have time for delayed, long clinical trials that we often use before we approve a vaccine or medication,” he said. “Now we have to act quickly. In the worst case if you have a vaccine and it doesn’t work, it’s exactly like if you don’t have it. Right now we don’t have it. There is very little downside.”

Like Medical Care, other facilities have been following guidelines and increasing cleaning procedures. The Tennessee Department of Health is suggesting guidelines provided by the CDC, which include emergency plans and staff communications, as well as continuing to stress the basic cleaning practices to minimize spread.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, novel Coronavirus, please contact your health care provider or your local health department, before coming into the facility, also do not go to emergency rooms.