DuBois, PA – As the Tri-County area transitions to the green phase this Friday, May 29, officials at Penn Highlands Healthcare reiterate their adherence to the safety of patients, staff and the communities they serve as the local health system’s first priority.

“Our precautions and restrictions have been effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19,” says Dr. Shaun Sheehan, Medical Director of Emergency Services and COVID-19 Task Force leader for Penn Highlands Healthcare. “Our facilities are extremely safe, and we encourage patients to continue to rely on us for care. As they do, they may notice that due to Department of Health guidelines for healthcare facilities, some of the less restrictive measures for other businesses don’t apply to Penn Highlands. We thank the public in advance for their cooperation as we uphold our commitment to the safety of those we serve.”

To that end, Penn Highlands announces they will require anyone who enters their hospitals to wear a mask. They will also enforce social distancing and will continue to limit patient entry points at their hospitals to the main entrance. Anyone entering a Penn Highlands hospital, physician office or clinical care setting will be required to submit to a verbal screening and temperature check. Upon passing the screening, individuals may be granted with a pass to enter the facility.

“We can appreciate the public’s eagerness to get back to life as normal,” Sheehan says, “but in order to keep our facilities infection-free, this transition to green will have no effect in the Penn Highlands hospital setting. This is all to fulfill our commitment to the safest, highest quality care.”

Sheehan states that until further notice, visitation restrictions will remain in place at Penn Highlands Hahne Cancer Center and the health system’s two nursing facilities, Penn Highlands Jefferson Manor and Penn Highlands Elk Pinecrest Manor. Loved ones who wish to interact with patients may contact the facilities to make arrangements. The nursing homes will accommodate visitation for end-of-life cases.

Patients may visit www.PHHealthcare.org/safecare for more information about the health system’s response to COVID-19.