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'Helping each other out as best we can' Novant Health housekeeper adjusts during coronavirus

Esther Reid likes to welcome patients with smiles and hugs but she can't do either of those right now.

FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — We're all thinking about the nurses, doctors and other medical staff helping fight the coronavirus but hospital housekeepers are on the frontlines too.

"[We're] hanging in there, leaning, you know helping each other out the best that we can," said Esther Reid, a housekeeper in the labor and delivery unit.

Reid started housekeeping at Forsyth Medical Center 20 years ago. She said things have changed at her job in recent weeks but maybe not in the way you would expect.

"Being able to smile at them," said Reid who loves nothing more than to show love to her patients, "or [give them] a hug or just shaking their hands or saying hello to them."

Now she has to wear a face mask and keep her distance from patients, coworkers and medical staff. She's had to find different ways to show that she cares.

"Say hello to them and greet them, hoping they're having a good day because you know everybody might not be but just to lift somebody up and say hello and good morning," said Reid.

She said cleaning is still pretty much the same but her motivation is higher than ever.

"So they can feel welcome and like it's fresh for them," said Reid.

Reid knows it won't last forever and she'll be ready when things go back to normal.

"I am very excited to welcome them back with hugs and loves and smiles," said Reid.

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