Whitehall-Coplay Press

Friday, May 29, 2020
CONTRIBUTED PHOTOLehigh Valley Hospital - Cedar Crest, Salisbury Township CONTRIBUTED PHOTOLehigh Valley Hospital - Cedar Crest, Salisbury Township

COVID-19: LVHN closing operating rooms in attempt to mitigate coronavirus impact

Sunday, March 22, 2020 by The Press in Social News

Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) announced March 11 that several of its operating rooms will close to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).

“COVID-19 is now in our community, and the disruption it has caused is unprecedented. When dealing with crisis situations as an emergency physician, the most valuable lesson I learned was: Do not panic. Fear is our enemy,” said Brian Nester, President and CEO of Lehigh Valley Health Network.

With an increasing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, LVHN is implementing three actions that will interrupt a number of planned surgeries and tests:

Operating room changes

In order to protect patients and staff and to preserve medical supplies and protective equipment, LVHN is temporarily closing select operating rooms. This will allow LVHN to maintain vital surgical services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sites temporarily closing include:

- Fairgrounds Surgical Center, Allentown

- Lehigh Valley Hospital - 17th Street, Allentown, operating room

- Lehigh Valley Health Network - Tilghman, Allentown, operating room

- J.B. and Kathleen Reilly Children’s Surgery Center, Salisbury Township

- Coordinated Health operating rooms

Scheduled procedures at these sites will be reviewed. Critical procedures will be relocated to other locations in the LVHN.

LVHN staff was to begin contacting patients March 22 to discuss plans for scheduled procedure.

Ambulatory services changes

LVHN is postponing some previously-scheduled tests and procedures during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Beginning March 23, LVHN staff will contact patients scheduled for tests and appointments that need to be delayed because of the impact of COVID-19.

The non-urgent tests and procedures are not being canceled.

ExpressCARE consolidation

To ensure adequate staffing at LVHN COVID-19 Assess and Test locations, LVHN is temporarily suspending services at three LVHN ExpressCARE locations.

In addition, LVHN ExpressCARE locations offering COVID-19 Assess and Test services and typical ExpressCARE services will redirect people seeking ExpressCARE treatment for minor illnesses and injuries to other ExpressCARE locations.

LVHN ExpressCARE locations temporarily suspending services effective March 23 are:

- LVHN ExpressCARE - Bethlehem Township. If you are seeking non-COVID-19 care, go to LVHN ExpressCARE - Palmer Township or another ExpressCARE location.

- LVHN ExpressCARE - Bangor. If you are seeking non-COVID-19 care, go to LVHN ExpressCARE - Palmer Township or another ExpressCARE location.

- LVHN ExpressCARE - Blakeslee. If you are seeking non-COVID-19 care, go to LVHN ExpressCARE - Tobyhanna or another ExpressCARE location.

Starting March 24, parents seeking care for their children should utilize health care services at LVHN ExpressCARE - Palmer Township while Children’s ExpressCARE services are temporarily suspended.

Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital remains open to provide specialized care for children.

Starting March 23, the following LVHN ExpressCARE locations that also serve as LVHN COVID-19 Assess and Test locations will redirect people seeking ExpressCARE services to other ExpressCARE sites:

- ExpressCARE - Macungie: COVID-19 assess and test only. If you are seeking non-COVID-19 care, go to LVHN ExpressCARE - Fogelsville or another ExpressCARE location.

- LVHN ExpressCARE - MacArthur Road: COVID-19 assess and test only. If you are seeking non-COVID-19 care, go to LVHN ExpressCARE - Muhlenberg or another ExpressCARE location.

- LVHN ExpressCARE - Palmerton: COVID-19 assess and test only. If you are seeking non-COVID-19 care, go to LVHN ExpressCARE - West End or another ExpressCARE location.

- LVHN ExpressCARE - Bartonsville: COVID-19 assess and test only. If you are seeking non-COVID-19 care, go to LVHN ExpressCARE - Pocono or another ExpressCARE location.

- LVHN ExpressCARE - Richland Township will offer COVID-19 assessment and testing and ExpressCARE services. However, if you are seeking non-COVID-19 care, you will use a separate registration desk and waiting room.

Said Nester, “Rest assured, LVHN is your health partner, today and every day, especially when things get tough. With regard to this current COVID-19 outbreak, we have taken innovative measures to make sure our community remains as safe as possible. Thank you for your continued support as we navigate these unprecedented times.”

Information: www.LVHN.org/covid19