Lehigh Valley, Pa.,
14:01 PM

LVHN Announces New Safety Actions in Response to Increase in COVID-19 Cases

Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) remains vigilant as the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) evolves, and we are committed to being your partner in health in these unprecedented times. With the increasing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, we are implementing three actions that will protect the community and our caregivers. Doing so will interrupt a number of planned surgeries and tests and we appreciate your understanding as we put safety first.

We are sharing the following changes with you:

Services Changes – Operating Rooms

In order to protect you and our staff and to preserve medical supplies and protective equipment, LVHN is temporarily closing select operating rooms across the health network. This precaution is consistent with decisions being made at other health networks throughout the country, and it will allow us to maintain vital surgical services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sites temporarily closing include:

All scheduled procedures at these sites will be reviewed. Critical procedures will be relocated to other locations within the health network. LVHN will begin contacting patients today to discuss plans for their scheduled procedure.

Service Changes – Ambulatory Services

As part of our ongoing effort to ensure safety for patients, staff and our community during the COVID-19 outbreak, LVHN is implementing a process to postpone some previously scheduled tests and procedures.

LVHN staff will call you to inform you if your test or procedure needs to be postponed.

Beginning Monday, March 23, our team will contact you if you are currently scheduled for tests and appointments that need to be delayed due to the impact of COVID-19. It is important to note that these non-urgent tests and procedures are not being cancelled – they are being postponed for the health of our community and colleagues during this pandemic.We appreciate your understanding as we evolve care delivery during these unprecedented times.

Service Changes – LVHN ExpressCARE Consolidation

To help ensure adequate staffing at LVHN COVID-19 Assess and Test locations, LVHN is temporarily suspending services at three LVHN ExpressCARE locations. In addition, LVHN ExpressCARE locations currently offering COVID-19 Assess and Test services and typical ExpressCARE services will redirect people seeking ExpressCARE treatment for minor illnesses and injuries to other ExpressCARE locations.

LVHN ExpressCARE locations temporarily suspending services effective March 23 are:

Starting Tuesday, March 24, parents seeking care for their children should utilize health care services at LVHN ExpressCARE–Palmer Township while Children’s ExpressCARE services are temporarily suspended.

Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital remains open to provide specialized care to children in our community.

The following LVHN ExpressCARE locations that also serve as LVHN COVID-19 Assess and Test locations will redirect people seeking ExpressCARE services to other ExpressCARE sites starting March 23:

LVHN ExpressCARE–Richland Township will offer both COVID-19 assessment and testing and ExpressCARE services, however if you are seeking non-COVID-19 care, you will use a separate registration desk and waiting room.

Thank you for your ongoing support

We appreciate the support you have shown as we face this pandemic together. We will work with all who have had tests and procedures delayed so they can receive this care as soon as it is safe to resume normal service.

“COVID-19 is now in our community, and the disruption it has caused is unprecedented. When dealing with crisis situations as an emergency physician, the most valuable lesson I learned was — do not panic. Fear is our enemy,” says Brian Nester, DO, MBA, FACOEP, President and CEO of Lehigh Valley Health Network. “Rest assured, LVHN is your health partner, today and every day, especially when things get tough. With regard to this current COVID-19 outbreak, we have taken innovative measures to make sure our community remains as safe as possible. Thank you for your continued support as we navigate these unprecedented times.”

LVHN will continue to provide our community with updates as this health situation evolves. Refer to LVHN.org/covid19 for additional information, including FAQs for people with COVID-19, links to LVHN COVID-19 Assess and Test locations and more.

About LVHN

Lehigh Valley Health Network includes eight hospital campuses, three in Allentown, one in Bethlehem, one in East Stroudsburg, one in Hazleton and two in Pottsville, Pa.; Coordinated Health, which includes two hospital campuses, nearly two dozen multispecialty locations including ambulatory surgery centers and orthopedic injury centers in northeastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey; 26 health centers; numerous primary and specialty care physician practices; 20 ExpressCARE including the area’s only Children’s ExpressCARE; pharmacy, imaging, home health, rehabilitation, and lab services; and preferred provider services through Valley Preferred. Specialty care includes trauma care for adults and children, burn care at the Regional Burn Center, kidney and pancreas transplants; perinatal/neonatal, cardiac, cancer, orthopedics, neurology, complex neurosurgery capabilities including national certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, and robotic surgery in 10 specialties. Lehigh Valley Cancer InstituteLehigh Valley Heart Institute, and Lehigh Valley Institute for Surgical Excellence physicians provide the most advanced treatments. The Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute is a member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Alliance, an initiative that helps community providers improve the quality of cancer care and offers access to MSK clinical trials. Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital, the community’s only children’s hospital, provides care in more than 30 specialties and general pediatrics. Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest is the region’s only hospital nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for orthopedics and has been recognized among Pennsylvania’s top five hospitals for six consecutive years. Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest, Lehigh Valley Hospital–17th Street and Lehigh Valley Hospital–Muhlenberg are the region’s only Magnet® hospitals for nursing excellence. Additional information is available by visiting LVHN.org, or following us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram.