Archive for August, 2022

COVID Update: Virus Still Here; Fewer Than Half Vaccinated

August 29th, 2022 Comments off

COVID-19 coronavirus cases continue to be diagnosed in Potter County, but getting true numbers on the extent of the spread is virtually impossible. Official records from the Pa. Dept. of Health show that another 95 people tested positive and there was one more COVID-related death over the past four weeks. However, DOH points out that the numbers only reflect those who have been tested at medical facilities or pharmacies. Results of at-home test kits, which are the preferred option for many, are not included. Overall there have been 3,501 cases and 94 COVID-related deaths in Potter County as of Aug. 28. Testing is available at local pharmacies and at UPMC Cole. At-home test kits can be ordered online at or by calling 1-800-232-0233.

While public health officials continually emphasize that vaccination is the most effective defense against COVID, Potter County’s vaccination rate for those age 6 and older still stands below 50 percent, with 1,210 people receiving only an initial dose and 6,274 receiving one of more booster shots. Just 19 more shots were administered over the past four weeks. Pennsylvania’s statewide vaccination rate is 87.5 percent; just under 70 percent have been fully vaccinated. Nationally, the vaccination rate of 80 percent. That leaves nearly 70 million people unprotected.

UPMC Cole offers the vaccine to eligible individuals at its outpatient offices. 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. A detailed summary on vaccines from the respected Johns Hopkins Medicine is available here.

Harvest Beginning At Community Garden

August 27th, 2022 Comments off

Harvest time has come to the Potter County Community Garden. Some of the gardeners’ bounty is now being shared with the public for free through a small vegetable stand at the corner of Water and West streets in Coudersport. On Saturday, Sheila Gabreski (left) from Penn State Extension and volunteer community garden manager Colleen Bray were busy tending to the grounds. Roots of the garden can be traced to a Food Insecurity Work Group headed by Dr. Mary Ann Rigas at UPMC Cole. Studies revealed that about 14 percent of Potter County’s residents are “food insecure,” defined as lacking reliable access to affordable, nutritious food.

The Potter County Commissioners, together with UPMC Cole and Penn State Extension, established the garden on a county-owned lot adjacent to the Potter County Education Center. All of the raised garden beds were reserved and each day brings harvesting of ripened tomatoes, squash and other vegetables. Garden organizers hope to expand the project next year.