Laurel Health “well-positioned” to service the rural community during pandemic


TIOGA COUNTY, Pa. (WEMT) – Officials at the Laurel Health Centers in Tioga County say they “are very well positioned” with their supplies and staffing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

James A. Nobles, the President and Chief Executive Officer of North Penn Comprehensive Health Services, says his staff has been preparing for a potential outbreak since the New Year.

“We are completely well positioned and well prepared at all of our health centers to manage whatever lies ahead.”

Laurel Health has nine health centers and outpatient facilities in Tioga County in Wellsboro, Blossburg, Mansfield, Westfield, Elkland, and Lawrenceville. They also work in partnership with UPMC Wellsboro, sharing staff and working through the COVID-19 pandemic together.

Nobles says that one of the biggest challenges of working in a rural area such as Tioga County is transportation, but they are working with local groups to help provide transportation.

“We are rural, but it doesn’t mean we don’t have state of the art world-class access to care.”

Telemedicine is also available by calling 1-833-LAURELHC (1-833-528-7354) to set up an appointment.

COVID-19 testing is available at UPMC Wellsboro, and Laurel Health can go through the screening process based on CDC guidelines.

Despite the global crisis, cases of COVID-19 remain low in the Northern Tier. On Friday morning the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced a third case of COVID-19 in Tioga County, which remains one of the lowest case numbers in the Keystone State.

Nobles credits the work of the Tioga County Commissioners and local leaders for keeping the number of cases low in Tioga County. He noted that the community is doing their part to help the healthcare system, saying a big part of the community is the unity.

Local school districts that have been closed are donated cleaning materials, medical offices that have closed are offering supplies, and Walmart in Mansfield recently donated 500 bottles of hand sanitizer.

But, Nobles says the most important thing the community can do to help the health care system is to wash their hands and stay at home.

“The number one thing our community can do right now is stay at home. You’re not just protecting yourself but you’re also protecting your friends, your neighbors, your loved ones, your fellow Tioga County residents. You’re protecting them by following (Governor Wolf’s) stay at home order.”

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