Draper, Utah – Over the last week, several governors and mayors from across the United States have made plans to gradually open up businesses again. Their plan is to start by opening essential services and then slowly move on toward the non-essential services, such as movie theaters and gyms.
The Utah governor has just given the official “okay” for surgery centers to perform elective surgeries on patients. However, that doesn’t mean everything will go back to normal. The COVID-19 virus is still out there and continues to spread like wildfire. Health experts claim it will take at least 18 months to make a vaccine, which means opening up businesses again will be challenging in terms of keeping people safe and healthy.
In Utah, there are currently 4,495 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections and 45 confirmed deaths. Although these statistics may seem low in comparison to the more than 61,500 people in the United States who’ve died, state health officials predict the infection rate in Utah will continue to rise as businesses start to reopen again.
Renowned surgeon Dr. Nicholas Howland and his associates at the Canyon Crest Surgery Center are stepping up and taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of their patients. “Social distancing and safety measures will be strictly in place,” said Dr. Howland. “The way we do business is going to be dramatically different from what it once was before.”
The Canyon Crest Surgery Center has received its accreditation from the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities. This accreditation is only issued to surgical practices that have proven that they can enforce strict safety guidelines and ensure a sterilized surgical environment for each patient who is treated.
“All of our patients and staff members will be required to have their temperatures checked and be screened for COVID-19,” said Dr. Howland. “We have removed all ‘high volume touch’ areas in the waiting room, so no more magazines, snacks, or complimentary drinks. Also, all our staff members and patients are required to wear masks at all times, which should be easy for them since most people wear masks these days anyway.”
Another part of the new safety guidelines will require the friends and family members of patients to wait in their cars or go home until their loved one is finished with their surgery and ready to be picked up. “The more that we reduce the number of people in the facility, the better we can enforce social distancing rules for everyone in the surgical center.”
The antibody test for COVID-19 is performed on each patient prior to their surgery. If early antibody signs are discovered, the patient’s surgery is cancelled immediately. From there, the patient is sent in for PCR COVID-19 testing to confirm the original test results. Patients that have negative test results, or show late antibodies, will be approved for surgery. Otherwise, they will not be able to get surgery until they’ve recovered completely.
“We’ve always had strict safety guidelines, but now we’ve made them just a little bit stricter in order to provide extra safety to patients as well as our staff members,” said Dr. Howland. “We are excited to slowly return to whatever the new normal is going to be, and to resume treating and helping our patients once again.”