By: 1812Blockhouse Staff; OhioHealth; Akron Children’s Hospital

The changes to Ohio’s various COVID-19-related orders is having an impact on Richland County medical facilities. In the last few days, two health systems have announced changes to procedures and policies that reflect the new direction shared by the State of Ohio.

Akron Children’s Hospital will be expanding the number and types of procedures available to its patients, as well as rescheduling surgeries and other appointments that were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

These changes will impact the Akron Children’s Health Center at 1029 South Trimble Road in Mansfield.

“We are still finalizing our remobilization plans and clinical teams will be reaching out to families regarding those surgeries, procedures and in-office appointments that had been put on hold,” said Lisa Aurilio, chief operating officer for Akron Children’s. “We plan to proceed slowly as our top priority is the safety of our patient families and employees, and preventing the spread of the virus. We are also carefully watching the inventory of PPE, including gowns, masks, gloves and other supplies, given the global shortages.”

As Akron Children’s expands services to levels nearer the pre-pandemic volumes, patients will notice some differences when they return to its facilities. For example:

  • For outpatient visits, only 1 caregiver may accompany the patient.
  • Everyone, including all employees, patient families and visitors older than age 2, is being asked to wear a face covering.
  • Visitors who do not have a face covering when they arrive will be given a cloth mask. These masks will be collected at exit, professionally laundered and recycled due to limited supply.
  • We are taking additional steps to ensure proper social distancing in all areas of our facilities and have increased our cleaning protocols to further prevent the spread of Covid-19.
  • Floor decals and signage will remind visitors to keep a 6-foot distance from others, and cafeterias will be available for take-out food only.
  • In our primary care and pediatric specialty offices, we will be implementing new text/call options (virtual waiting rooms) that will limit patients’ time in the waiting areas.

Additional details will be announced in coming days on Akron Children’s website – – and through its social media channels.

On Friday, OhioHealth stated that it was moving to a gradual return of elective surgeries.

“We have done a terrific job over these last few months of creating a safe environment for our caregivers, patients and visitors,” said Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, senior vice president and chief medical officer at OhioHealth. “As we resume electives, maintaining and enhancing that high level of safety will be at the core of all we do.”

The following protocols will be implemented at all OhioHealth care sites, including its hospitals in Mansfield and Shelby, prior to the start of elective surgeries on Friday:

  • Daily well-checks for associates, including temperature monitoring
  • Temperature screening for all patients and visitors entering OhioHealth facilities
  • Use of hospital-grade personal protective equipment (PPE) that is appropriate for the caregiver’s role
  • Masking for all associates, patients and visitors
  • Continued rigorous handwashing protocols for associates
  • Oversight by certified infection prevention practitioners who review all processes to ensure the highest level of safety
  • Continued cleaning of facilities and medical devices with hospital-grade products approved by the United States EPA to kill SARS-CoV-2
  • Incorporating social distancing standards in all of our processes and facilities
  • COVID-19 testing for all patients, even if they are not experiencing symptoms, within 72 hours of any procedure which requires anesthesia or sedation
  • Limiting hospital entrances
  • Continuing with visitor restrictions (exceptions will allow a support person for maternity and surgery)

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