Hospitals reopen by resuming elective medical procedures

West Virginia

BOONE COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — Many things have been postponed or canceled during the pandemic, but what if something that could save your life got postponed?

Boone Memorial Hospital and many others around the state are in the process of getting back on track. David Gresham the Development Director at Boone Memorial said, “where we’re starting is with elective surgeries, we opened those today … First time in 45 days we’ve had an elective case.”

But it leaves a big question. Will hospitals get overwhelmed if there’s a new spike in Covid-19 cases? Gresham says, “I think its gunna take off myself, other folks think its going to gradually peak and gradually climb, but either way its okay, people have to be safe coming out.”

Boone Memorial says safety is their primary goal and doctors are gearing up for a full week of various medical procedures. And starting tomorrow Boone Memorial will start testing for the first time in weeks for miners who may think they have Black Lung.

The facility already has 160 requests for black lung testing, which was previously stopped due to Covid-19. Director of the black lung facility, Willy Cart, says it’s important for miners to get tested, even for financial reasons.

“When they take the exam and if they qualify for the benefits that entitles them to a monthly disability check and it also includes and insurance card that covers 100% to anything that pertains to their breathing,” Cart says.

But overall, the hospital just wants the public to know that they are still taking all of the right precautions. Gresham adds, “we’re trying to follow the guidelines of the state and do this in phases and step back into things.”

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