Pa. to get federal ‘strike teams’ to relieve pressure on overburdened hospitals

Written by on December 28, 2021

Pa. to get federal ‘strike teams’ to relieve pressure on overburdened hospitals

By WLVR Staff
December 28, 2021

Pennsylvania will receive help from federal “strike teams” to relieve the strain on hospitals hit hardest by the latest COVID-19 strain.

That’s the word from the state Department of Health, which confirmed Tuesday it will get support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The move follows a request from Gov. Tom Wolf for federal assistance.

State health officials are working with FEMA and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to identify available resources and placement of the strike teams, according to the state health department.

“The federal government has responded to Governor Wolf’s request for additional support for Pennsylvania’s health care system and we are now meeting with them daily to finalize support plans,” said Acting Secretary of Health Keara Klinepeter.

“At this time we do know that strike teams will be sent to the commonwealth and are working with our federal partners to identify and confirm exact locations and any additional resources.”

A surge in cases spurred by the omicron variant has stretched health care resources across Pennsylvania. Earlier this month the Wolf administration said staffing support was needed, especially in rural areas.

The daily average number of cases in Pennsylvania in the past week was 9,979, according to the Department of Health. As of Monday, Dec. 27, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 was 0.4 percent lower than the previous Monday. Available adult and pediatric ICU beds statewide rose to 18% and 17%, respectively, according to state data.

“Any federal assistance will help relieve some pressure on the health system so there is capacity to treat people who need hospital care,” PEMA Director Randy Padfield said in a news release.

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