A lot can happen in a matter of months. At the time of my last guest essay for The Post-Star, Glens Falls Hospital was gearing up for a potential surge in COVID-19 patients. We had been preparing for months, and our team was ready for the challenge headed our way. While life at Glens Falls Hospital has certainly been busy over the past few months, we were fortunate to not experience the surge that was projected. Nonetheless, we were prepared. And we still are.
Thanks in large part to the work of our community members to slow the spread of the virus by adhering to CDC guidelines for social distancing and respiratory and hand hygiene, we continue to see our local numbers trend downwards. Our community has done right by us and their commitment to doing their part in this pandemic has no doubt saved lives, but the work is not over yet. We still have a responsibility to ourselves and to each other to continue practicing social distancing, wearing masks in highly populated areas, being cognizant of our hand hygiene and staying home when we feel sick.
It is important to remember that while we have made many advancements over the past few months, there is still a lot we do not know or cannot predict about the novel coronavirus. Unfortunately, depending on someone’s individual health circumstances, what may make you or me feel a little under the weather has the potential to be life-threatening to someone else.
It is for that reason, and many others, that Glens Falls Hospital has continued to take a measured and personalized approach to how we safely reopen health care services for our community. Over the past few months, the team at Glens Falls Hospital has worked tirelessly to develop plans, secure needed resources and equipment and establish protocols, all designed to keep our patients and employees safe.
All health care services are unique, so we have been thoughtful about how to best resume services, while making sure we have the proper equipment and resources in place to protect the people providing and receiving care. As we continue to ramp up elective procedures, we are providing the education and support needed to patients so they can focus on healing and reduce their risks during a time when the threat of COVID-19 remains a very real factor in our life.
We have been through a lot together over the past few months. As colleagues and caregivers, we learned that there really are no limitations to what we can do. As a community, I have watched the much-needed shift from being afraid of our neighbors and the unknown to putting that fear and worry aside to helping people navigate this difficult time together. It has been incredible to experience and will only serve us well as we move forward.
Our community’s success is being graded by how we work together during this time. From my perspective, we have an A. Keep up the great work and continue to do your part to lessen the impact of the virus on our community and know your friends at Glens Falls Hospital are doing the same.
Hillary Alycon is the director of Infection Prevention and Control at Glens Falls Hospital.
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