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Vincentian Home In McCandless Gets COVID-19 Strike Team For Long-Term Care Regional Support Site

MCCANDLESS, Pa. (KDKA) - The state is sending strike teams to four long-term care regional support sites to help relieve the strain of COVID-19 on hospitals and frontline workers.

Vincentian Home in McCandless will house one of the support sites, the Wolf administration announced Monday.

"None of these patients are actively positive COVID patients. This is not the COVID unit," Laurie Cannella, vice president of clinical excellence at Vincentian Home clarified to KDKA News.

She says two weeks ago Vincentian Collaborative Health System got a call from the Pennsylvania Department of Health to help with pandemic-related hospital overload in the Pittsburgh region and nursing shortages.

"Currently the capacity is overrun and the hospitals can't discharge these patients to make room for other patients that have acute, urgent or emergent needs including COVID-19," Cannella explained.

From now until April, Vincentian will collaborate with the National Guard, federal and Pennsylvania emergency management agencies to provide an additional 30 beds of skilled care for the greater community and staff such as nurses and other care professionals.

COVID-19 hospitalizations are still "historically high" and the regional sites will give support to strained health care workers, Acting Health Secretary Keara Klinepeter said.

"This collaborative effort between state agencies and the healthcare community is the next step in the Wolf Administration's multi-layered approach to relieve the strain on healthcare workers and facilities," she said.

The sites will also open at facilities in Hollidaysburg, Philadelphia and Sligo.

The extra help comes after Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation that appropriates $225 million in federal funding to the health care workforce.

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