UPPER NAZARETH TWP., Pa. - The National Guard will be helping staff Gracedale Nursing Home for a while longer.
Administrators at the nursing home requested the Guard extend its deployment, as record employee call-outs continue, according to a news release from Northampton County.
Thirty-four Guard members arrived on Monday, only planning to stay for three days. Now they will stay until May 10, officials said Friday.
The National Guard is primarily helping with non-coronavirus patients, so Gracedale staff can focus on residents who are sick.
“We’ve had over 1,000 call-outs among our staff just in the month of April,” said Jennifer Stewart-King, Gracedale administrator, in the news release. “That is making things extremely difficult for the heroes of Gracedale who are caring for the residents. We’re very grateful to the National Guard for staying on to help care for our residents.”
Northampton County officials said previously there were only 451 call-outs total in 2019.
Authorities have said they want to recognize that many employees are coming to work, and working hard, but it's difficult with many calling out.
At last check, 70 of Gracedale's nearly 600 residents tested positive for the virus, and 9 died. There were 26 staff cases.