EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. — There are 1,097 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Monroe County, and 48 residents have died from the virus.
Newswatch 16 checked in with Jennifer Hess, the infectious disease prevention coordinator at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono in East Stroudsburg. Her job is to ensure the safety of the staff and patients.
"COVID-19 has changed all of our lives professionally and personally, and for health care providers especially, it has altered how we interact with patients on a daily basis," said Hess.
Hess tells Newswatch 16, the most challenging part of working on the front lines of this pandemic has been providing education about processes put in place by the Centers for Disease Control regarding appropriate PPE requirements and ensuring staff members have the equipment necessary to care for the patients.
"Taking care of COVID patients can be time-consuming; it can be very stressful emotionally as well as physically. But every time a patient is extubated or discharged, it makes everything so worth it, and you see the smile in everyone's eyes," said Hess.
Elizabeth Wise is the hospital president. She says several patients have come off of ventilators; many others have been discharged.
But patient numbers still remain consistent, and it's too soon to tell if we are flattening the curve.
"I would say that we are seeing the same volume which you could say is flattening the curve, but we really need to continue to get more data points and more trending," said Elizabeth Wise.
Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono is also in the planning stages of bringing back elective procedures. Of course, safety protocols, including patient screenings and mask requirements, will be in place once that begins.