Penn Highlands Healthcare officials said they are starting to see a slow uptick in COVID-19 cases and they’re prepared if those numbers continue to rise.
As of today, officials said Penn Highlands Huntingdon has six confirmed cases of COVID-19 and Penn Highlands DuBois has three confirmed cases.
“We are starting to experience a slight uptick in cases most specifically in the Penn Highlands Huntingdon Region,” said Dr. Shaun Sheehan, Director of Emergency Services for Penn Highlands.
According to the Department of Health, Huntingdon currently has 888 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 69 probable cases and 17 deaths.
And based on historical trends for respiratory viruses, Dr. Sheehan said he’s expecting these numbers to increase.
To prepare for that he said they’re working on policies and training staff on the best ways to mitigate the virus.
“Our COVID unit at the Penn Highlands DuBois campus is not open yet but it remains ready to be open if we need it,” said Dr. Sheehan.
Dr. Sheehan said Penn Highlands has plenty capacity for critical care and ventilators if these numbers rise.
But so far, he hasn’t seen a huge increase in ICU visits.
“There’s been a very minimal increase, maybe 1-2% region wide,” he said.
In the near future, Dr. Sheehan said Penn Highlands will offer a limited number of COVID-19 tests on site.
Other hospitals in our area are also preparing for an uptick in cases.
Officials with Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center released this statement that said, “Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center is currently treating fewer than 15 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19. At this time, our hospital has adequate capacity and resources to meet patient needs, including in critical care/intensive care.”
Dr. Sheehan said we may not be able to control the virus but there are steps we can take to prevent it.