WMHS Doctors on COVID & Schools Reopening

(Honesdale, July 30, 2020)…Working in collaboration with local school districts, Wayne Memorial Health System produced a video (link at the end of this release) intended to explain the science behind masking, social distancing, hand-washing and more to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“This video is a great resource,” said Wayne Highlands School Superintendent Greg Frigoletto, “and we hope it will appease some concerns of our parents.”  Frigoletto posted the video on the district’s website and planned to share it with fellow superintendents at Wallenpaupack Area, Western Wayne, Delaware Valley and Forest City school districts.

Wallenpaupack Area Assistant Superintendent viewed the video and wrote to Wayne Memorial that the presentation was “informative” and “outstanding.”

Wayne Memorial takes no particular stand on opening schools, but both Family Medicine practitioner James Cruse, MD and pulmonologist Sean McVeigh, MD, who are featured in the video, make the point that following protocols helps slow or prevent transmission of the disease. “It’s a respiratory virus,” Dr. Cruse says, “so masking, social distancing, hand-washing, cleaning surfaces—these are the most important things to do at school and at home and in the community.”

Cruse,(above)  who is the Medical Director of Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers, also notes that guidance from the Centers for Disease Control indicates “you can safely reopen in-person schools if the community transmission rate is less than 5%… and right now in our area, Wayne and Pike Counties, we have a positive rate of only about 2%.”   Dr. Cruse does say however that everyone should expect many challenges going forward.

WMH’s COVID Task Force Director, Dr. McVeigh,  recommends temperature taking on a daily basis and knowing ahead of time what the baseline temperature is for you and your family members.  COVID symptoms can include a high fever (100.5 or above), shortness of breath, fatigue, headache and a loss of taste and smell—among other symptoms. More information can be found at cdc.gov/coronavirus.

“Wayne Memorial was pleased to be asked to collaborate with the school districts to make this video for the community,” said Carol Kneier, MS, RD, CDE, manager Wayne Memorial Community Health. “There is so much misinformation out there and our two medical professionals deal with patient concerns about COVID every day.”

The video is posted  here (below) and on Wayne Memorial’s You Tube page (Wayne Memorial Hospital Honesdale) and on  the Wayne Highlands School District website.