Agency trying to help move COVID-19 patients out of local nursing home

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JERSEY SHORE, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — COVID-19 deaths continue to rise at a local nursing home in Lycoming County. Now, one agency is doing its best to help move residents from the center who wish to leave.

“I find it deplorable and disgusting that people are continuing to die,” Karen Coch of Roads to Freedom Center for Independent Living said.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, there have been more than 20 COVID-19-related deaths at Manor Care Health Services in Jersey Shore. It’s why Roads to Freedom Center for Independent Living in Williamsport is stepping up to lend a helping hand.

“We have come to the county commissioners. We have asked for their support to help us transition people from that facility,” Coch said.

The organization wants to move residents out of Manor Care and into a hotel where they can quarantine. They are asking the county commissioners to set aside $250,000 to help, which has been unsuccessful thus far.

“Their big concern right now is spending $11,000 of Act 13 money to buy aluminum chairs and tables for the country club,” Coch said.

“Now that would be tax dollars. Will we be reimbursed for that? We don’t know. We’re not sure. What’s sad is Harrisburg has the money. They’ve been allocating their money,” County Commissioner Scott Metzger said.

Metzger says this is an issue with the Department of Health and they should be the ones approaching the situation. Not to mention, he’s not sure the community even supports this decision.

“I’ve talked to many people that are in the community about should be done and I have yet heard one person say ‘please get me out of here’,” Metzger said.

On the other hand, Commissioner Rick Mirabito says it makes sense.

“My colleague is right. The state should step up but I think we also can do what we can do and we should try to do it and if others don’t step up, we should step up,” Mirabito said.

Manor Care issued a statement to Eyewitness News which reads: Manor Care Health Services – Jersey Shore has the clinical leadership and trained team members to care for patients requiring skilled nursing and rehabilitation services in our center. We have had ongoing communications with the proper authorities and support from our clinical and medical teams to ensure we have the right protocols in place.

We are focused on updating and informing families and have not had any families ask to move their loved ones out of the center although some have recovered and rehabilitated and have gone home. We did have one family whose loved one is in the hospital express interest in moving their loved one. Since the patient is in the hospital, we cannot comment on the process for that move.

We are happy to discuss any questions with families and help them with any decisions they feel is in their loved one’s best interest. We are proud of all the hard work the ManorCare – Jersey shore team has done during this unprecedented time.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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