Universal masking for all employees at Olean General Hospital and Bradford Regional Medical Centers started Monday after a new shipment of masks arrived, according to Dr. William Mills, senior vice president of Quality and Professional Affairs at Upper Allegheny Health System. 

“We moved to universal masking to protect our health care workers from exposure to infected patients who may be asymptomatic or have not yet tested positive, as well as to protect patients and staff from others,” Mills wrote in a UAHS update Thursday. 

Although supplies of personal protective equipment at Olean General and Bradford Regional are adequate for current volumes at each facility, UAHS is asking hospital staff to conserve PPE,  UAHS president and CEO Jeff Zewe wrote in the update. 

Sign Up for Greater Olean Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

“Like all hospitals nationwide, we are challenged relative to acquisition of PPE and are competing with hospitals worldwide,” Zewe stated. “That said, we have an adequate supply of PPE for our current volume.  We don’t, however, have a stockpile.

“If we burn through supplies, even before we see a surge, we risk being in real trouble should we start seeing a stream of new COVID-19 patients," Zewe stated. "We believe that in the coming days and weeks, inventories of PPE will become more available given the governor’s plan to centrally control and distribute PPE. We are awaiting a new supply of PPE including 1,000 locally made face shields.”  

For more information on the Coronavirus in the Greater Olean area, visit  TAPinto Greater Olean's Coronavirus Updates page, which is updated continuously.

Sign Up for E-News to get top stories delivered daily to your inbox. 

Download the FREE TAPinto App!  Click here for Android - Click here for iOS to get news as it is happening.