2 Years of COVID-19: Impact on health care, what to expect moving forward

"Telehealth has become the key to convenience for health care visits, and will likely be an option moving forward."
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Two years of temporary lockdowns, mandates, restrictions and vaccines. In early 2020, health care systems became front and center in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tony S. Reed, executive vice president and chief medical officer at Temple University Health System, said their health care system has brought on more staff in hopes of seeing the number of COVID-19 patients go down.

And while masks remain a must in hospitals, they're just now starting to let visitors back into the facility.

He also said technology has evolved quickly in the last two years.

"Telemedicine visits, open access visits. You get to be seen in a more timely way," he said. "Telehealth has become the key to convenience for health care visits, and will likely be an option moving forward."

But the big change the city is seeing is the rollback of mask mandates.

"I think it's a little soon, but you know if you feel safe enough to, then yeah," said Kiana Rodriguez, of Philadelphia.

It's sparked a lot of debate among parents.

"Nice that they're finally doing it. It seemed like cases are going down enough, it's the next natural step," said Alex McGee, of Philadelphia.

Two years of arming yourself with a mask and social distancing have been the norm, but now in most public spaces wearing a mask is at your discretion.

"No one should feel self-conscious about their decision. It's a decision they're making with the easing of the mandate," said Reed.
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