The Pennsylvania National Guard is sending 18 military nurses and medics to help a Delaware County nursing facility handle an apparent uptick in coronavirus cases.
Officials did not say how many patients have tested positive for the virus at the Broomall Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Marple Township, but said the help was needed “due to current staffing shortages.”
“That information isn’t being released,” county spokesperson Adrienne Marofsky said Saturday. “We’re planning to release more data on long-term care facilities next week.”
County officials requested support from the Pennsylvania National Guard Medical Team after conferring with the facility. The team is expected to provide routine care to “non-acute” patients for three days, officials said.
“We understand the challenges that many long-term care facilities such as the Broomall Rehabilitation and Nursing Center are facing right now, and together with support from the Chester County Health Department we are doing everything we can to support the staff, patients and their loved ones,” Brian Zidek, chairman of Delaware County Council, said in a statement.
“This call to the National Guard for temporary staffing is one way we are able to provide support," he said.
The facility has 298 certified beds and an average of 248 residents per day, federal data show. The average Pennsylvania nursing facility serves about 110 residents.
Registered nurses at the Broomall facility spend an average of 35 minutes a day treating each resident, lagging the Pennsylvania average of 48 minutes, according to federal data.
Officials at Broomall Rehabilitation and Nursing Center couldn’t be reached Saturday evening.
As of Thursday, state data showed 365 people living in long-term care facilities had died from the coronavirus — about half of all fatalities linked to the virus in the state. There were about 3,300 cases in 306 facilities.
State officials have not released patient and death data for individual nursing homes.