Beaver County

Pennsylvania National Guard arrives to offer support at local nursing home

BEAVER COUNTY, Pa — The Pennsylvania National Guard arrived Monday morning at Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in Beaver County to offer support to the facility and the Department of Health.

State leaders said nursing home has had more COVID-19 deaths than any other nursing home in Pennsylvania.

As a result, Monday morning a Channel 11 News crew watched as Pennsylvania National Guard members pulled in, unloaded equipment, and went inside.

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The nursing home has received criticism from families, community members and lawmakers.

More than 90% of coronavirus deaths in Beaver County have happened at the nursing home.

The home is also facing a class-action lawsuit and cries for greater transparency.

Beaver County Commissioner Daniel Camp said he is pleased that help is now here.

“I do believe with the Pennsylvania National Guard, it's going to help in getting those accurate numbers out and letting the public know how many positive cases and how many deaths came out of this facility," Camp said.

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A statement from the facility reads in part:

“While we continue to make positive strides in our efforts to control and prevent the further spread of covid-19, support from the national guard will allow our facility to get much-needed relief by permitting our nurses and aides to redirect their time and attention to the increasing health needs of our residents.”

The National Guard is expected to provide assistance at the facility until May 18, supporting the Pennsylvania Department of Health. At that point, Brighton Rehab is going to bring in additional nursing support from Texas and the National Guard will leave.

“We’ve been really critical of the Department of Health down in our office about needing assistance prior to this. I know Brighton Rehab reached out to them in late March for help: it’s been over a month but it’s here now so we’re happy they’re here,” Camp said.

The National Guard conducted an assessment of the facility on Saturday, the spokesperson said.

Our partners at the Trib learned there will be 27 members of the national guard who will support the staff. They will help with cleaning, meal preparations, and service.