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Area nursing homes would welcome NY National Guard help

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 4:24 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Two north country healthcare facilities say they’ll take the state up on its offer of sending in help to nursing homes if it’s needed.

Governor Kathy Hochul has said if a staff shortage at a nursing home threatens the facility’s ability to give the best care to patients, she would deploy the New York National Guard.

Both Lewis County Health System and Samaritan Health leaders say they’ll welcome the help if it comes to that.

“I think any nursing home at this point with the COVID pandemic and with staffing shortages across the country would be open to help,” said Leslie DiStefano, Samaritan spokesperson.

Hochul said Monday that the state has surveyed its National Guard resources.

“We know that there are numbers who have EMT training or health care backgrounds, and we can deploy them in a targeted way to the health care facilities, the nursing homes and long-term health care facilities, where they’re having a shortage,” said Hochul.

She said one of the reasons there are additional people still in hospitals who are non-COVID and ready to be discharged is that the nursing homes don’t have enough staff to take them.

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