COAL TOWNSHIP, NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – The Pennsylvania national guard is starting its newest staffing support mission this weekend near Shamokin. The support team’s mission? To assist Mountain View Nursing and Rehabilitation Center which has been ravaged by COVID-19.
“In most cases it has to do with you know the COVID outbreak lessening the typical staff that’s available and you know just provides a need for additional personnel just to help get through a challenging time,” Lt. Col. Keith Hickox, public affairs officer for the Pennsylvania National Guard, said.
The nursing home reports 79 active resident cases and 19 active staff cases of COVID-19. Hickox says typically support missions are planned for 5 days and extended based on need. Officials say the team is made up of 16 soldiers and airmen, and also includes several nurses and medics.
The nurses and medics will provide care for patients who aren’t in severe conditions. There will also be general purpose service members to help as well.
Residents of Shamokin tell me they’re glad the national guard will be here to lend a helping hand.
“They’re not here to lock down the facility. They’re here to help the residents and the other co-workers. I think it’s a great thing that our state is able to do that,” Kevin Shervinskie of Shamokin said.
Shervinskie says it’s important to recognize that it’s no one’s fault that the coronavirus outbreak occurred at the home.
“Obviously the virus is everywhere. It’s resurged lately in our area and our multiple county area very strongly,” Shervinskie said.
He says it’s important to continue to support not just Mountain View, but also all facilities helping patients during this pandemic.