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Health care providers in Monroe County await green phase

Health experts at LVH - Pocono are weighing in on the move to green and offering some insight to summertime illnesses people should be aware of.

MONROE COUNTY, Pa. — Monroe County moves to the green phase of the state's reopening plan on Friday.

Health experts at Lehigh Valley Hospital - Pocono are weighing in on the move and offering some insight to summertime illnesses people should be aware of.

At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Monroe County was one of the hardest-hit places in our viewing area, but after months of following safety guidelines, this part of the Poconos will transition into the green phase of Governor Tom Wolf's reopening plan on Friday.

Lehigh Valley Hospital - Pocono health officials say residents have worked hard to get here.

"Obviously, this is a new norm for health care and business, but it is exciting. I would ask that all the businesses consider the CDC precautions that they need to put in place to make sure it's a safe environment for consumers," advised Elizabeth Wise, LHV-Pocono president.

With this new norm, comes some old norms, too, like summertime medical issues. Poison ivy, tick bites, and other viral illnesses haven't gone away.

"We will be faced with these issues in the coming months, and it's not a good idea to ignore them or not seek medical attention just because you're concerned with COVID," said Dr. Susheer Gandotra, the hospital's infectious disease director.

Dr. Gandotra says depending on what kind of medical attention you need, it's important for patients to know it's safe to get medical help at an urgent care or the emergency department.

"The risk from sitting on a minor illness and letting it get big is more of a risk, so seek medical attention by calling your health care provider, consider going to the urgent care, or if needed go to the ED, emergency department, to take care of things before they get worse."

Lehigh Valley Hospital - Pocono doctors say in the last four weeks, fewer than five patients with COVID-19 symptoms have been in on any given day, and while the number continues to decrease, the hospital is prepared in case they go up, especially as restrictions are lifted.