Archive for September, 2021

SUNDAY Update: Potter Records 47 Cases In 72 Hours

September 19th, 2021 Comments off

Coronavirus case counts across the region are rising. Potter County has had a spike of 47 cases over the past 72 hours (Wednesday through Saturday; see chart above). Three COVID-19 patients are hospitalized at UPMC Cole’s special unit. There have now been 1,417 documented cases and 29 COVID-related deaths in Potter County. Pa. Of greater concern is the growing “active” case count in the county, which stands at 91. Those are cases in which the victim has contracted the disease over the past two weeks and is considered highly contagious. 

Pa. Dept. of Health (DOH) estimates that the number of people carrying the virus in a locale is likely four or more times higher than the reported cases. However, the department no longer releases information on “active” case counts per community. Testing is available at UPMC Cole for physician-referred patients. Tests are also being administered at Buchanan Brothers Pharmacy (visit the website here or call 1-800-635-8611) and Rite Aid Pharmacy (visit the website here or call 814-274-0439).

Meanwhile, between Wednesday and Saturday, there were 117 more cases and another COVID-related death in Cattaraugus County, N.Y., where the count now stands at 6,645 cases and 96 deaths. Lycoming County had 251 more cases with four more fatalities. Totals in Lycoming are 13,603 cases and 315 deaths. Tioga County reported 123 more cases (3,687 cases, 115 deaths); Allegany County, N.Y., 78 new cases (3,967 cases, 92 deaths); McKean, 58 cases (4,175 cases, 76 deaths); Cameron, 10 cases (374 cases, 10 deaths); Clinton, 82 cases (4,101 cases, 69 deaths); and Elk, 114 new cases and another fatality (3,400 cases, 46 deaths).

Potter County now has a vaccination rate of 42 percent (5,472) among residents age 18 and older. Statewide, 80 percent have been inoculated. UPMC Cole offers the vaccine to eligible patients at its outpatient offices. To schedule an appointment for an adult, call 814-274-5460; for pediatric patients, call 814-274-9198. Buchanan Brothers Pharmacy in Coudersport administers the vaccine by appointment; call 814-274-8660. Rite Aid pharmacies continue to book appointments. To access the online reservation form, click here.

Statewide, an average of 5,600 new cases are being diagnosed each day. Total cases in Pennsylvania since the pandemic began stood at 1,375,864 with 28,845 deaths as of Saturday. There has been a 250-percent increase in the number of children who have been infected since early August. In recent days, some 28 percent of all cases have been diagnosed in children.

County Residents Encouraged To Join ‘CodeRED’

September 18th, 2021 Comments off

Potter County Emergency Management Agency is encouraging residents to sign up for a notification system that provides important alerts and time-sensitive messages on tornadoes, floods, or other emergencies using phone calls, email, social media sites and text messaging. It’s a “reverse-911” system that can help people prepare for risks to public safety. Commissioners Nancy Grupp, Barry Hayman and Paul Heimel have renewed a contract with OnSolve, the company that provides the service, referred to as CodeRED.

“This system delivers critical information to thousands of individuals within minutes,” said Glenn Dunn, the county’s emergency management coordinator. “Alerts can be specific to streets, neighborhoods, or regions.” He discussed the service at a recent Potter County Commissioners meeting. Among attendees were, from left, Teresa Kisiel (obscured), Conservation District manager Jason Childs and Planning/GIS director Will Hunt.

All residents living in Potter County are encouraged to visit and click on the CodeRED logo to enroll their contact information. Dunn said no one should automatically assume he or she is in the emergency contact database. Additional information is also available at 274-8900, extension 501.

Conservation District Success Stories Celebrated

September 7th, 2021 Comments off

Roads are being improved, headwater streams protected, and coal mine pollution abated as a result of work that’s dutifully performed — with little or no fanfare — by county conservation districts. Last week, directors of these low-profile agencies whose impact stretches far and wide showcased some of their success stories in Potter and Cameron counties. About a dozen elected officials and other guests joined conservation district managers and technicians on a daylong field trip.

In Potter County, the group traveled to two project sites on Southwoods Road in Homer and Sylvania townships. Conservation District Manager Jason Childs (left) explained that over a period of four years, the Conservation District upgraded a 4.7-mile section of the road to reduce sediment loads flowing into the Southwoods Branch, and to keep the road passable for residents, seasonal property owners, tourists, school buses and emergency vehicles. Price tag was nearly $684,000. In Sylvania Township, an eroding 70-foot vertical bank had collapsed, reducing Southwoods Road to one lane threatening to close the road entirely. Some 264 tons of limestone and other materials were used to stabilize the bank and improve the stream and its habitat. Cost was $175,000.

One stop in Cameron County was at an acid mine drainage treatment project in Cameron County’s Sterling Run watershed. Deep coal mining in the late 1800s and early 1900s and surface mining that followed had badly fouled the headwaters, killing all aquatic life. Cameron County Conservation District has installed “passive treatment systems,” neutralizing aluminum and iron levels. Affected waters are now Class A Wild Trout Streams. Also in Cameron County, the group observed a streambank stabilization project along the Driftwood Branch of Sinnemahoning Creek. That 450-foot section had been severely eroded. A modified mudsill cribwall was installed to stabilize the bank and improve fish habitat. The Conservation District partnered with the Western Pa. Conservancy to plant a five-acre riparian buffer that includes trees, shrubs and live stakes.


SBA Offers Loans To Victims Of Aug. 18 Flooding

September 3rd, 2021 Comments off

Those living in Potter and Tioga counties who were severely impacted by the historic flooding on Aug. 18 may qualify for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. SBA will open a Disaster Loan Outreach Center at the Knoxville Community Building, 301 East Main Street, on Wednesday, Sept. 8. Hours will be 9 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday and 10 am to 2 pm on Saturday, Sept. 11. The final day of operation is Wednesday, Sept. 15. Residents, businesses and private non-profit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other assets. Interest rates are as low as 2.855 percent for businesses, 2 percent for non-profit organizations, and 1.563 percent for homeowners and renters, with terms up to 30 years. Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling 1-800-659-2955 or from the SBA website. Email inquiries should be sent to Filing deadline is Nov. 1.