Physical therapists balancing rehab with social distancing

Published: Mar. 19, 2020 at 12:58 PM CDT
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Some physical therapy offices across Eastern Iowa are staying open during the Coronavirus pandemic. They are trying to balance rehab while social distancing themselves.

On with Life in Coralville is only letting clients inside. Parents and caregivers have to drop them off and pick them up. Staff members are taking people’s temperatures and screening them the second they show up.

On With LIfe works with people after brain injuries. They have to work close by their patients because some have a high risk of falling. They are taking breaks to wash their hands and wipe down equipment.

Workers say some people have pushed back starting their treatment. Their regulars haven't canceled.

“We do have a few people that a couple of weeks of cancellations could potentially cause a setback in their rehab,” said physical therapist Paula Duve. “So we want to do anything that we can to prevent that from happening.”

Workers say they have plenty of rooms to spread out so it's just a therapist and a client in each room. They don't want people to show up if they feel sick. So they are looking into other ways to treat them.

“Telehealth we can go through an online source, setup appointments just as we do before and then use some type of face timing,” said Duve. “So we're face to face with our person served, and doing some of maybe the exercises and maintenance programs from home.”