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Coronavirus updates from hospital in Monroe County

Newswatch 16 checked in with doctors at Lehigh Valley Hospital - Pocono to see what conditions are like this week at the medical facility in East Stroudsburg.

EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. — Doctors at Lehigh Valley Hospital - Pocono tell Newswatch 16 that not much has changed since last week.

Hospital staff did confirm they have had a few employees who have tested positive for coronavirus.

Doctors also had some positive news: more patients have been taken off ventilators and discharged.

"The hospital volume of patients with COVID has not significantly changed from last week. We are seeing more or less the same number of patients, so not much change from last week," said Dr. Susheer Gandotra, LVH - Pocono infectious disease director.

Newswatch 16 asked hospital officials if any employees at LVH - Pocono have tested positive for COVID-19.

"We have some hospital staff who have tested positive with COVID. We are encouraging our employees not to come to the hospital if they have any symptoms. We have a system in place for several weeks in which we check our employees incoming to the hospital for the temperatures. Anyone who has a fever is not allowed to enter the hospital and is encouraged to go back home," Dr. Gandotra explained.

In light of regional and national testing shortages, Lehigh Valley Hospital Network announced last week a new patient testing policy. Under the new criteria, only symptomatic people ages 65 and over and people at a higher risk of complications will be tested for COVID-19.

Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said the state planned to reach out to the hospital to see what was needed.

"I don't know specifically if she did related to the testing," said LVH – Pocono President Elizabeth Wise.  "I know that we are in conversations with the state regarding supplies as well as other discussions. We do have adequate swabs to test at our two test and assess locations, one on Main Street, and the other is in Bartonsville at our express care site."

Last week, Newswatch 16 told you about how the Department of Health was looking for temporary medical sites. On Tuesday, the National Guard moved about 200 beds into East Stroudsburg University's Koehler Field House.

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