DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – While Dallas County is officially sheltering in place, the medical industry is working around the clock to serve one of the most vulnerable populations.

Most of the facilities CURO Health Services medical sales representative Emily Dushman serves are on lockdown, meaning only clinical staff are allowed in.

“So their families and loved ones aren’t even being let in,” she said. “My thought was kids are out of school right now so they can color some pictures and write some letters to some of these residents and patients that aren’t getting to see their families.”

She’s collected hundreds.

“I have been mailing them and dropping them with clinical staff who brings them in,” she said. “Being able to sit down and read a letter, look at a picture has really been something that has brought them joy during this hard time.”

It’s a hard time.

AccentCare, a Dallas-based home health care company, started preparing for coronavirus six weeks ago.

“As we thought about it,  it starts with staffing,” CEO Stephan Rodgers said. “Basically, how do you prepare your staff for something like this?“

A recently-launched education campaign trained employees on how to properly wash their hands, what personal protective equipment to use and how to identify the symptoms of COVID -19.

Inventory of personal protection equipment was completed and they estimated they’d need more.

“We went out and purchased additional N95 masks,” Rodgers said. “We went out and purchased additional surgical masks.”

Now, the company feels more prepared than most.

Before nurses enter a home, they have to certify they’re healthy. Then they call their patient and screen them for COVID-19.

“If the patient does show symptoms of COVID-19 then they have the protective emergency equipment,” Rodgers said.

“Our number one priority is taking care of and safeguarding our staff. Our number one responsibility is taking care of our patients out there.”

Rodgers said another big component in this is telemedicine.

AccentCare is looking to triple or even quadruple the amount of their patients that have access to this.

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Erin Jones

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