Despite Colorado Governor Jared Polis Releasing Information on New Phase of Safer-At-Home Guidelines, Non-Emergency and Non-Essential Healthcare Should Continue Through Telehealth Services
On Wednesday, April 22nd 2020, the Governor of Colorado, Jared Polis, announced his decision to allow some businesses to start reopening and operating the week of April 27th.
While elaborating on the fact that the changes that will occur in the new safer-at-home phase will be incremental, he also explained that this is not a “grand reopening”.
As a result of this, healthcare workers and services that are considered to be non-emergency and/or non-essential are encouraged to continue offering their services through telehealth programs.
This includes – but is not limited to – physical therapists, speech therapists, and occupational therapists.
A Rocky Mountain Hike
The new phase outlined by the governor was compared to a hike within the Rocky Mountains.
Governor Polis said that Colorado is at the “trailhead” – just the beginning of the journey. He explained that they are not at the point of “summit” and that it will not be reached immediately.
While the state is going to lessen restrictions starting on Monday, April 27th, there are many counties within the State of Colorado – such as Denver – that have stricter orders to stay at home all the way through April 30th.
For these areas, the orders remain highly restrictive and decisions will be made prior to or on the 30th to determine if those should remain in place.
Data Revealed on Colorado’s Death Rates
Data has been reviewed extensively regarding the COVID-19 cases throughout the State of Colorado and the deaths that have occurred as a result of the disease.
Now in excess of 500 deaths throughout the state, the information has revealed that approximately 64% of all of those deaths are directly linked to assisted living facilities and nursing homes.
The goal is to flatten the curve.
The governor believes that issuing more restrictions for a longer period of time would just push out the curve so that the peak is experienced at a later date.
Four Factors to Reduce the Stain on Hospitals
Currently, the State of Colorado is outlining four main factors that will aid in reducing the strain of the hospitals. These are as follows:
- Coronavirus Testing to Identify New Cases
- Utilizing Face Masks
- Social Distancing
- Protecting Vulnerable Populations – Such as Those with Underlying Health Conditions and the Elderly
More Extensive Guidelines to Be Released Soon
The previous stay-at-home mandate is shifting to a focus on “safer-at-home” method of living.
The governor made it very clear that all individuals should continue to wear protective masks, continue to engage in social distancing, and – if possible – work from the comfort and safety of their homes.
Healthcare workers – such as the therapists previously mentioned – should continue to offer telehealth services to their patients.
Extensive guidelines for other industries are expected to be released at any time.
Social Distancing Precautions in Place for Elective Medical Providers
While many elective medical providers will be able to open their facilities, gatherings will be limited to a maximum of ten people.
In addition to this, social distancing precautions should remain in place.
For physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech therapists, this may prove to be difficult. It is recommended that these medical providers only allow essential personnel to work in offices and that they offer their services via telehealth.
Failure to do so could result in the rampant spread of coronavirus, resulting in more complications and death.
This is especially true if patients have other underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease. The elderly are naturally more vulnerable.
High Infection Risks
Worries about the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus continue to mount, despite the new safer-at-home guidelines.
Patients are concerned about the illness and receiving medical care.
While the emergence of the UCHealth Virtual Urgent Care has put a lot of people’s minds at ease, those that depend on physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy are still concerned about exactly how they will receive care.
The high infection risks are more than troublesome. Why not make it easy for your patients and offer virtual health services?
While it is true that many therapists utilize a hands-on approach with their patients, it is quite possible to adjust that care to a virtual setting. Not only will it keep you safe, it will protect your patients.
You are still able to benefit from receiving funding from your patients and assisting your patients in such a way that it optimizes their health.
Join our extensive network of therapists today to get the latest and greatest information on telehealth and how to protect the patients that you care so much about: https://coloradophysicaltherapynetwork.com/contact/