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Penn Highlands Re-opens COVID-19 Ward

As COVID-19 cases increase across the region, Penn Highlands Healthcare officials are implementing new protocols to mitigate the virus including reopening their COVID-19 unit.

As of today, officials said there are 20 positive COVID-19 patients being treated across the Penn Highlands Healthcare system.

As we enter the colder months, Director Emergency Services for Penn Highlands Healthcare Dr. Shaun Sheehan, said it’s important for us to remain vigilant.

“We strongly encourage everyone to wear a masks, social distance and avoid large group gatherings,” he said.

At the start of the pandemic, Penn Highlands DuBois opened a COVID-19 unit and closed it during the spring when cases started to decrease.

With the spike in cases, they reopened their unit last week.

“Patients in this unit are placed in negative pressure rooms and isolated inside a closed off secure section of the hospital,” said Dr. Sheehan.

To combat the fall resurgence Penn Highlands has also ramped up their testing capabilities.

In the summer they ordered testing equipment which arrived in late October.

“These test results are returning in less than 24 hours and in some cases can return in approximately one hour,” he said.

Other protocols in place include restrictive visitation, parking lot waiting rooms and a required mask mandate across the health system.

Dr. Sheehan said they have adequate PPE, ICU beds and ventilators in response to the fall resurgence.

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