Cobleskill Regional working on slow plan for reopening


By Jim Poole

Cobleskill Regional Hospital is running smoothly and is even developing a plan to reopen for non-COVID treatments.
But don’t expect a full reopening to happen soon.
Hospital President and CEO Eric Stein said the Bassett Network is asking its facilities to develop reopening plans “specific to each location.”
The directive to make plans came from William Streck, Bassett president and CEO.
“It took a lot of good foresight to do that,” Mr. Stein said.
The hospital isn’t completely closed to non-COVID patients. The Emergency Department, X-ray and some clinics remain in place.
Reopening would mean the rest of the clinics and other services, closed during the pandemic, could reopen for patients.
“We feel there are some challenges of reopening, especially when we have to screen everyone who comes into the hospital,” Mr. Stein said.
People entering the hospital now are asked health-related questions and have their temperatures taken.
Reopening, Mr. Stein said, would happen “only when we feel confident it’s safe to do so.
“There are a lot more details to reopening than there were for shutting down,” Mr. Stein added.
Any full reopening would probably be phased in, he said, with some services starting earlier than others.
CRH is also making plans for screening potential COVID patients in the future.
Currently, people who believe they have virus symptoms are screened in a large tent outside Bassett Healthcare, next to the hospital. If necessary, those people are further screened in an outside facility next to the hospital’s Emergency Department.
If and when the screening continues into the fall and winter, Mr. Stein said, “we’ll have to see what alternatives there are” because of colder weather.
Meanwhile, he said, there are no virus in-patients at the hospital.
“We’re going pretty well,” Mr. Stein said. “We have a good staff, and we have enough protective gear. Not a surplus, but enough.”