As the number of COVID cases declines and the pandemic shows signs of slowing down, everyone is trying to find what will become the new normal, including Daviess Community Hospital.
It may seem odd that the hospital has struggled at times during the pandemic, but with elective surgeries closed for months and hospitals on state orders to try to keep beds free for COVID cases, DCH has sometimes struggled during the height of the epidemic.
“Everything about 2020 was different from any other year,” Daviess County Hospital board chairman Deron Steiner said. “We are seeing an increase in our number of patients, but we are still not back to pre-pandemic levels.”
One thing the hospital has managed to do is keep its financial structure in good shape. Part of that by working with the budget and part of the congress clawback funding.
“Our finances are good,” Steiner said. ” We are in shape. “
COVID has created ebb and flow at DCH. As officials prepared for the disease, they fired the volunteers. The entrances were closed. Temperature checks and screenings were carried out. For a while, visitors were not allowed and masks were mandatory.
“There’s no way to know for sure, but I think some of the measures we’ve put in place may have helped alleviate the outbreak in Daviess County,” Steiner said. “Now is the time for us to find our new normal, whatever that new normal is.”
The new normal is nothing that can be defined, but rather something that focuses. The visit has long since returned to the hospital, as have the volunteers. Temperature checks and projections have also ceased.
“We have all of our doors open again,” Steiner said. “The cafeteria has reopened. Operationally, we are still adjusting. We always ask everyone to put on a mask that comes to the hospital. It’s on the recommendation of the CDC. I don’t see the mask requirement changing anytime soon. I know the hospital is stricter on masks than other places, but you are probably more likely to be exposed to COVID in a hospital setting than you are shopping. “
Steiner says even with the number of coronavirus cases declining, the hospital will continue to have to adapt to whatever the disease brings.
“COVID is still here, and it’s not expected to end,” Steiner said. “We encourage people to get vaccinated while taking precautions. And we’ll try to figure out what our new normal will be. “