As the world is contending with an issue of enormous scale and human impact, my heart goes out to everyone who has been affected by the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The outbreak of this virus has heavily hit the New York area in which I live and I see its effects closely working at Vireo Health’s dispensary in White Plains, NY – near one of the early epicenters of the outbreak here in the US.
I am proud to be part of an organization that is an “essential service”, but is taking extraordinary steps to protect and support everyone in its circle of care— this includes not only our patients, but also our team members and their families, as well as the local community we serve. In fact, from the experiences of my family members in other sectors of the pharmacy industry, I have learned that Vireo Health made far earlier interventions to safeguard everyone and prevent potential exposure.
Vireo was implementing health and safety measures in early March, long before the companies that my other families work for in more traditional pharmacy industries. I am happy that I worked for medical cannabis company founded by physicians, as Vireo’s response to COVID-19 was clearly well ahead of most companies that are remaining open during the pandemic.
Our safety measures implemented since early March include:
– Signage to remind team members and patients of social/workplace distancing and other policies
– Required hand washing regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water
– All employees required to wear CDC approved masks and gloves
– Regular cleaning/sanitation of all hard surfaces and frequently handled items
– A move to online-only pharmacist consultations
– Providing temporary curbside prescription pickup
– Modified operating hours to limit viral spread
– Employees working remotely to ensure quality patient service
Plus, our team at the White Plains dispensary created additional measure which were then shared through the entire company!
– Putting personal items such as cellphones and keys in ziploc bags and disinfecting them at least once daily
– Removing clothing, placing it in a designated hamper at the door, and washing it immediately once inside
– Showering immediately upon arriving home
I am thankful to my team at White Plains dispensary for understanding, embracing, and implementing such prevention measures both at work and at home. As a pharmacist, I am proud to be part of an organization that is health focused, accepts social responsibility, and continues to provide essential services. This is truly an unprecedented time and together we will get through it.
Most of all, please stay safe and healthy!
Vireo Health-White Plains, NY