STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – To help with the potential overflow of patients at area hospitals, East Stroudsburg University is now housing an alternative care site.
the national guard was on campus Tuesday setting up dozens of cots.
Director of Environmental Health and Safety at ESU, Nate Black says, “this is an emergency center emergency evacuation area if needed.”
The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) has set up a medical shelter in Monroe County at the local university.
“It’s our facility but it’s their operation,” says Black.
East Stroudsburg University says they have been working with state health officials for weeks to get an alternative care site up and running.
Sergeant First Class Matthew Keeler of the 55th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade PAO tells Eyewitness News about what will be offered should the facility open. “What’s offered here is a number of cots for local hospitals if they run out of beds we can put folks, not required for an ICU.”
Inside Koehler Fieldhouse there are now 64 beds set up, with privacy screens, tables, and armrests— all there to help local hospitals if the coronavirus pandemic overcrowds them.
“PEMA and the Department of Health and brought over the cots, they brought over the curtains they brought over the equipment required to stand up this location,” says SFC Keeler.
Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine says this site will be operational on a needed basis.
“A lot of it will depend upon how stressed our hospitals are with patients with COVID-19, “explains Dr. Levine.
“This is to take care of patients with COVID-19 that are getting better, they are improving but they are not quite ready to go home yet, so we’d be able to decompress the hospitals with those patients.”
The medical equipment was transferred from an un-used emergency shelter in Delaware County– according to the governor’s office the state is relocating equipment to other locations within the state based on hospital capacity.
“You have all of Pennsylvania coming together to help one another in case it were to need this kind of location,” expresses Keeler.