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Penn State DuBois’ Samantha Satterlee rips a hit during a game against PSU Mont Alto her junior season at Heindl Field. Satterlee, the lone senior on the PSU DuBois softball team this spring, received national honors Thursday when she was one of 17 players named to the USCAA Softball All-Senior Team.

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Calla's Cafe & Fine Foods hosts 'pop-up' shop with necessities

KERSEY — Calla’s Cafe and Fine Foods on the Million Dollar Highway in Kersey is now hosting a “pop-up shop” to serve its customers during COVID-19.

Dee Dee Calla and her husband, Lester, and daughter, Alyssa, are a St. Marys family who work together to make Calla’s Cafe a success.

Calla’s partnered with Copper Fox Winery two years ago to offer two businesses under the same roof.

The pop-up shop idea came from the dining room’s having to be closed to customers, Calla said. When customers stop in for a takeout order or bottle of wine, they can grab necessities or Calla’s products while they’re there, including items like toilet paper and paper towels, dish soap, masks and gloves, surface cleaner and grocery items like sugar, mayonnaise or steak sauce.

This is something they are doing in cities during the pandemic, Calla says. She will also be receiving a cooler toward the end of June, and will stock it with things like lunch meats and cheeses and homemade spaghetti and Alfredo sauces.

Community support for Calla’s has been strong during the shutdown, she said.

“It’s been a blessing in disguise,” she says. “There have been a lot of new customers who may not otherwise come here.”

Calla’s Cafe has remained open for takeout throughout the shutdown, while other restaurants had to close, she said. Mother’s Day was an extremely busy day, she added.

Calla’s has had to make adjustments, such as a new takeout management system. It has also been a struggle to maintain a full staff.

“I give special recognition to our family and friends who have volunteered their help the past two months,” Calla says, noting Tami Senior, Jean Stefano, Cody Greenthaner, Anthony Mastrogiacomo and Cindi Benson. “And a special ‘Thank you’ to our new and faithful customers.”

A big announcement for Calla’s and Copper Fox Winery is there will be a deck with outdoor seating in its future, she added.

Calla’s Cafe and Fine Foods and Copper Fox Winery are located at 1215 Million Dollar Highway in Kersey. For updates, visit their Facebook pages.

PHH official: Some furloughed employees have returned to work

DuBOIS — Penn Highlands Healthcare Chief Operating Officer Mark Norman, during a teleconference Thursday, announced that the five-hospital system has started to bring back some of the furloughed employees, “as needed.”

Approximtely 600 were either furloughed or laid off in mid-April due to a decline in elective procedures and preventative care visits as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve been glad to see some area businesses reopening their doors since we’ve entered the yellow phase. Here throughout Penn Highlands, things are progressing positively as well,” said Norman. “We have begun to bring back some employees as needed and we’ll continue to bring back furloughed employees as our volumes increase.”

The number of employees brought back was not disclosed during the call. When contacted after the conference call, PHH officials declined releasing any further details about the furloughs at this time.

Currently, Norman said PHH inpatient and outpatient volumes continue to increase steadily between traditional in-person appointments, procedures and virtual visits using the hospital’s MyHealthNow app.

“This week we can report our volume is currently around 75 percent of our typical pre-pandemic volume,” said Norman. “We continue to monitor volumes and staffing levels, and thankfully we have enough adequate personal protective equipment to safeguard our staff and patients.”

Norman said PHH facilities “are safe, we’re open and we’re ready to care for our patients. Especially in our emergency departments, we’re glad patients are making the decision to get the care that they need.”

“We’re committed to making sure our communities knows that Penn Highlands provides the safest, highest quality care in the area, and to that end, we’ve launched a campaign we call ‘Still Here,’” said Norman.

The campaign, he said, speaks to PHH’s motto telling communities that, “We’re here, here for you.”

The campaign included a letter to the communities from CEO Steve Fontaine, along with a series of videos about how PHH is providing the safest care across the wide range of services from emergency room visits to lab and radiology services to doctor’s office visits and the telemedicine app, said Norman.

Across the system, Norman said PHH employees are wearing the color blue to show their pride in the role Penn Highlands has fulfilled for patients and communities.

“It’s been great to see the public .... participating with us as well,” said Norman.

One 'support' person now allowed to be with some patients at PHH

DuBOIS — Penn Highlands Healthcare has not changed its visitor policies at this time, said Dr. Shaun Sheehan, medical director of Emergency Medicine for all of Penn Highlands Healthcare and leader of the PHH COVID-19 Task Force, at Thursday’s teleconference.

“It is important to note that we are still operating with all of our previous precautions in place,” he said.

However, one update made this week, per Pennsylvania Department of Health guidance, is that PHH is allowing one support person to be present with non-COVID-19 inpatients, Emergency Department patients and surgery patients,” said Sheehan.

“I have to emphasize this is a support person and not considered a visitor,” said Sheehan.

One area that will exclude any support persons will be the infusion centers, where people are receiving chemotherapy. That precaution is due to the high risk associated with the diseases being treated there, said Sheehan.

“Along with every patient, every support person is required to go through our screening process for symptoms and temperature checks,” said Sheehan. “After passing the screen, the support person will receive a pass that they must display on them for the duration of their time in our facility. With that being the case across our system, we require social distancing in all of our waiting areas, as well as the disinfecting of public spaces in our facilities frequently with industrial products that have been proven effective to killing coronavirus. One great example of that would be the more frequent cleaning of elevators.”

Sheehan noted that PHH was the first health system in the region to establish a dedicated COVID-19 unit.

“That floor has been transitioned back to its previous operation and could be reopened relatively easily if the need were to arise,” said Sheehan.

“Our volume of inpatient COVID-19 remains extremely low across our health system, including the Penn Highlands Huntingdon,” said Sheehan.

Dept. of Health:
Department of Health: 980 positive COVID-19 cases bring statewide total to 65,392

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported Thursday that there are 980 additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 65,392.

There are 4,869 total deaths attributed to COVID-19, an increase of 102 new deaths.

Clearfield County’s total number of COVID-19 cases remains at 33, while Elk County remains steady at six total cases and Jefferson County remained unchanged with seven cases, the latest update from the state said.

To date, the number of negative cases reported in Clearfield County is listed at 897, in Elk County at 272 and in Jefferson County at 443, according to the Department of Health.

Statewide, 303,514 patients have tested negative to date.

According to the latest report:

— Clarion County’s number of cases was unchanged, with 25 reported cases now and two deaths.

— Indiana County reported two new cases, with a total of 88 reported cases and four deaths.

— Centre County reports a total of 136 cases and five deaths.

— Cameron County remains the same, with two reported cases.

— Forest County has seven reported cases.

— Potter County remains unchanged with four reported cases.

— McKean County was unchanged with a total of 11 reported cases and one death related to COVID-19.

In nursing and personal care homes, there are 14,113 resident cases of COVID-19, and 2,306 cases among employees, for a total of 16,419 at 570 distinct facilities in 44 counties.