Coronavirus Resources for Patients & Visitors

How is Penn Highlands Healthcare Staying Safe During the Pandemic?

All Penn Highlands Healthcare inpatient and outpatient services continue to be safe and fully operational.

Our precautions and restrictions have been effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19. We’ve kept our facilities safe, and we encourage our patients to continue to rely on us for care. As you do, you may notice that we’re closely following Department of Health guidelines for healthcare facilities. Thank you for your cooperation as we uphold our commitment to your safety.

Penn Highlands Healthcare Safety Reminders

MASKS FOR PATIENTS / SUPPORT PERSONS: In accordance with the Department of Health, patients and support persons must wear a mask inside our facilities. If any patient or support person does not present with a mask, we may provide one to them.

In accordance with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Penn Highlands Healthcare is restricting visitation at all of our hospitals.

SUPPORT PERSON (NOT VISITORS): In accordance to the Department of the Health, we may allow ONE support person be present with patients if needed.

After the support person passes the symptoms/temperature screening at our entrance, we will provide them with a sticker denoting the date and department that will host the patient they’re accompanying. They will need to wear this sticker for the duration of their time inside our facility. These steps are in accordance with the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Because the point of this practice is to minimize the potential for exposure, this support person is a single designated individual throughout the duration of the patient’s stay. For safety reasons, we may not permit another support person to rotate into the previous individual’s place when the first support person exits the facility.

SCREENINGS: Per the Pennsylvania Department of Health, screenings will continue to take place at entry points for our hospitals and clinical care settings. In these locations, both employees and patients/patient support persons will continue to undergo verbal and temperature screenings upon entry. Anyone who does not submit to the screening may be denied entry.

SKILLED NURSING FACILITIES AND CANCER CENTERS: In accordance with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, PHH Skilled Nursing Facilities and PHH Cancer Centers, VISITATION REMAINS RESTRICTED. The only cases subject to exception are for end-of-life situations.

COVID-19 Signs & Symptoms

The information and guidelines below are based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH).

People experiencing these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Children may have similar symptoms to adults and generally experience mild illness.

Patients in these higher-risk categories who experience COVID-19 symptoms should contact their provider immediately:

  • Older adults
  • Patients with chronic health conditions such as diabetes; lung, kidney or heart diseases; as well as patients who smoke
  • Patients with compromised immune systems, such as those undergoing chemotherapy or taking certain types of medication

What To Do If You Are Sick

If you are experiencing cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, diarrhea, vomiting and/or new loss of taste or smell, please follow these recommendations below:

1. Call your Primary Care Physician/Family Doctor to discuss your symptoms. Do NOT go to your doctor’s office, QCare/Urgent Care or the Emergency Department. If you are suffering from a life threatening situation, call 911 immediately.

2. Anyone without a primary care provider/family doctor may call the PHH Call Center at 814-375-6644 from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Monday through Friday to get help finding a doctor.

3. Utilize QCareNow for virtual visits with one of our providers. Access MyHealthNow on your desktop or download the MyHealthNow app from your iPhone or Android’s app store, and after, select QCareNow. You will be able to have a provider visit right from your phone 24 hours a day. Go to QCareNow to learn more.

COVID-19 Testing

Penn Highlands Healthcare is providing testing for COVID 19.

The COVID-19 testing process is as follows:

  • If patients are experiencing symptoms, they should call their Primary Care Providers (PCP). Those patients who live within the PHH service area and don’t have a PCP should call the PHH Call Center at 814-375-6644 between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM Monday through Friday.
  • If testing is needed, it will be done through Penn Highlands QCares and the QuickLab located on the Penn Highlands Huntingdon campus. Arrangements will be made to keep patients outside and in their vehicles. COVID-19 swab tests will be billed to your insurance. Cash pay cost is $70.

Self Care at Home for Mild Symptoms of COVID-19

  • Stay home unless you need to leave for medical care.
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home. Stay in a specific room and use a separate bathroom, if possible.
  • Use a mask, cover your coughs and wash your hands frequently.
  • See more self-care information from the CDC.

Prevention

The CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help reduce the spread of this illness:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands well and frequently—at least 20 seconds with soap and water or with hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover cough/sneeze with a tissue, and then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean/disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

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