Patients with chronic ailments should not postpone treatment; mask wearing recommended. More from today’s teleconference

While COVID-19 is getting all the attention right now, officials at Penn Highlands Healthcare (PHH) are reminding patients, especially those with chronic conditions, not to delay treatment.

Mark Norman

At today’s teleconference, PHH Chief Operating Officer Mark Norman, and COVID-19 Task Force Director Dr. Shaun Sheehan, said their facilities are prepared for the virus, but they are also there for patients with other health concerns.

Through a combination of services, from the personal care physician to the emergency room to the PHH myhealthnow app, patients can and should get the care they need to avoid being hospitalized and taking up bed space that may be needed later.

Dr. Sheehan also addressed the use of cloth masks, which were recommended by Governor Wolf last week. While acknowledging it was a hot topic, he said there was no harm in wearing a mask, and it could potentially do some good.

COVID-19 is respiratory droplet virus, and some people who have the virus don’t know they have it.

Dr. Shaun Sheehan

He gave the example of someone shopping in a grocery store who sneezes into their hand, thereby spreading the disease. If that person was wearing a cloth mask, the sneeze would have been contained in the mask and it would have protected other people in the store.

The mask, he said, doesn’t protect you, it protects those around you.

“That really is the theory behind wearing these masks, “ he said, and he recommended wearing them when in public.

Cloth masks can be easily made at home and there are numerous web sites that can guide you through the process.

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