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COVID crisis: The unsung heroes

Doctors and nurses have been at the forefront of praise during the COVID-19 crisis, but some staff behind the scenes have also been playing a huge role.

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Leaders at UPMC Susquehanna in Williamsport say the staff is going above and beyond to protect patients and hospital employees.

The hospital has ramped up cleaning services during the COVID crisis. 

Operating rooms and rooms that house COVID-19 patients have to be cleaned daily.

"We are following the processes for our procedures correctly so that our team is being safe at all times, as well as keeping our patients and visitors safe. We want all of our frontline and staff to go home safe, just the way they did when they came to work," said housekeeping supervisor Brenda Lee.

The hospital wants people to not fear coming in for a procedure.

The hospital is focusing on touchpoints. 

"Paying special attention to our high touch areas, our elevators, handles, doorknobs just those things that we touch we want to sanitize them numerous times throughout the day."

Each room takes up to 45 minutes for housekeeping staff to clean by hand. 

After a room is cleaned, the staff use glow sticks to double-check their cleaning.

"Once the room is clean, we will go inspect it, and that tool will show areas that might have been missed or that need to be cleaned more thoroughly." 

The hospital is also using a robot called Tru-D.

It emits ultraviolet rays across an empty room, and its purpose is to kill bacteria and any trace of the virus in spots a housekeeper would not normally clean.

"It bounces the rays off of surfaces to kill germs. It kind of looks like the inside of a tanning bed and even smells like one after its done running."

Officials at UPMC Susquehanna say they have not had one person contract COVID-19 while in the hospital, patient, or staff.

They say that's thanks to safety procedures and extensive cleaning.