Coronavirus Latest: Local Businesses Adjusting Operations To Stay Connected With Customers, Members At Home

So many local businesses have taken a huge hit during the economic shutdown.

Coronavirus Latest: Local Businesses Adjusting Operations To Stay Connected With Customers, Members At Home

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — So many local businesses have taken a huge hit during the economic shutdown. To stay afloat, many restaurants are offering take away or meal kits that families can make at home.

Now small business owners in other industries are getting creative, as well.

These are the literal signs of our time, businesses closed and shuttered throughout Philadelphia, as shelter-in-place restrictions stretch into the second full month.

Coronavirus Latest: What You Need To Know And Staying Connected

“Did you ever in a million years think you would experience what you are experiencing now?” CBS3’s Greg Argos asked.

“Never in a million years,” Expressive Hand Pottery Studio owner Marcie Ziskind said.

Normally their tables are filled with customers painting and decorating their pieces.

But with five employees still on the payroll, Ziskind has borrowed the new business model many restaurants are taking and bringing her product into customer’s homes.

“I thought about pottery to go because it’s a great way to spend time in your home with your family where you’re safe and comfortable,” Ziskind said.

Customers can pick an unfinished piece, Ziskind then packs it up with paint and brushes and coordinates a no-contact delivery.

“I feel in business if you cannot be resilient, you are not going to make it,” she said.

George Caroulis has the same mentality.

His South Philadelphia gym, Crossfit 2 Street, has been closed since late March.

“We have lost some people who have been laid off with their jobs and I understand,” Caroulis said.

But he has adapted his business, offering daily virtual classes for members.

Caroulis and his coaches are instructing class from their house.

“We have a morning class, a midday class and an evening class,” he said.

Members use borrowed equipment from the gym or items found at home.

“Go downstairs and grab your laundry detergent and we’re going to use that as your resistance today,” Caroulis said.

He’s even created a Zoom-only membership for new members.

LATEST CORONAVIRUS CASES

Like Ziskind, he’s adapting to a new way of keeping their small businesses open.

“This was thrown in my lap and I’m just going to embrace it and go with it,” Ziskind said.

Both business owners say the changes are helpful, but of course, they are not fully covering the gaps.

They’ve both applied for local and federal small business grants.

Source : CBS Philadelphia More   

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Coronavirus Latest: Two Virtua Health Patients Recovering After Receiving Plasma Transfusion

Doctors say they've successfully treated the first two patients in New Jersey who received plasma from other people who had COVID-19.

Coronavirus Latest: Two Virtua Health Patients Recovering After Receiving Plasma Transfusion

VOORHEES, N.J. (CBS) — It’s a major milestone for Virtua Voorhees Hospital. Doctors say they’ve successfully treated the first two patients in New Jersey who received plasma from other people who had COVID-19.

With more experimental treatments available for coronavirus patients, some South Jersey residents participated in the first convalescent plasma transfusions.

Their families say it may be what kept their loved ones alive.

“At first, it wasn’t a match plasma. My dad had never gotten any transfusions before so they said it might be OK,” said Patrick Fei, whose dad had COVID-19.

Coronavirus New Jersey: Gov. Phil Murphy Tours Field Medical Station At Atlantic City Convention Center

Two patients ended up in Virtua Voorhees Hospital after their health started deteriorating due to coronavirus complications.

Patrick and Eric Fei say their 61-year-old father, Andy Fei, was on a ventilator for more than two weeks.

Credit: CBS3

“We have the pulse oximeter numbers and I told him it was 93 and at that point he said, ‘OK, take him to the hospital immediately,'” Eric Fei said.

Sixty-three-year-old Renee Bannister was also clinging for her life on a ventilator. Her husband, Greg, spoke with CBS3.

“They’re telling us almost be prepared she’s not going to make it through the night, and more than once,” Greg Bannister said.

Credit: CBS3

The Virtua Health doctors tasked with saving the South Jersey residents say their conditions started to improve after joining in on the Mayo Clinic’s plasma study.

“We managed to take the plasma from a recovered family member and transfuse it into my patient. And then my patient’s condition began to improve within 24 to 48 hours,” Dr. Lukasz Polisiakiewicz said.

With the help of the American Red Cross, Renee Bannister, the first plasma transfusion patient in New Jersey, began to recover. Her niece was a perfect match.

Andy Fei’s family was hopeful he would have the same results.

“You saw dramatic improvements in his oxygenation, as well as his chest X-rays, so it was quite a miraculous feat,” Dr. Eric Sztejman said.

Coronavirus Latest: What You Need To Know And Staying Connected

Renee and Andy are expected to return home in May.

“We had a conversation at 6 a.m. I immediately woke up. He was still pretty raspy but probably the best phone call I ever received in my life,” Patrick Fei said.

“He thought he was in the Virgin Islands! He had some crazy dreams, that’s for sure,” Eric Fei said.

Andy Fei may not be in the Virgin Islands, but his family is certainly happy he’s alive.

Source : CBS Philadelphia More   

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