DuBois, PA – Penn Highlands Healthcare is urging everyone not to relax about the important safety precautions that have keep COVID-19 from completely overwhelming our area so far.

Dr. Shaun Sheehan, leader of the COVID-29 Task Force at the hospital, says that masks are effective in slowing the spread of the virus… as long as they are worn correctly. Your mask should cover your mouth and nose.

Dr. Sheehan stated during the media conference phone call that lockdowns cause substantial economic impacts in comparison to the amount that they delay or reduce spread of the virus. Instead, he said, “Let’s not get to the point of lockdowns.”

The upcoming cold, dry weather and people gathering for holidays will likely increase the number of cases. It’s important to continue to practice social distancing, avoid large gatherings, wash your hands frequently, wear a mask in public, and stay home if you feel sick.

COVID-19 unit that was able to be reverted back to a regular hospital area back in spring has now again been designated as a space just for COVID patients.

Although cases are rising, Penn Highlands officials say they feel prepared and are better equipped to handle a surge than what they were in the spring.

Officials also urge you to not delay going to the hospital if you have a medical issue. Catching a sickness early can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. Do not delay going to the hospital, especially for emergencies or even routine treatments.

Mark Norman, CEO of Penn Highlands Healthcare, and Dr. Shaun Sheehan, leader of the COVID-19 task force at the hospital, give an update of the spread of COVID-19 in our area. They talk about how many cases have been handled at the hospital, whether we are ready for a fall surge, and what we can do to help slow the spread.

This media conference was recorded via phone on Nov. 12, 2020.