Pa. hospitals to receive strike teams in response to COVID-19 surge

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania hospitals will receive help from strike teams to relieve hospital capacity strain in response to the latest COVID-19 surge.

The announcement was made Tuesday, after Keara Klinepeter, acting Secretary of Health confirmed that Gov. Tom Wolf’s request for support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) led to this assistance.

“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,” Klinepeter said. “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.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Health and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) are actively working with FEMA, the Department of Health and HUman Services and the Department of Defense to identify available resources.

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

According to the Pennsylvania COVID-19 dashboard, only 16.4% of adult ICU hospital beds are open. There are currently 4,648 adults hospitalized due to COVID-19.

Stay with Channel 11 News as we continue to monitor COVID-19 and its impact on our area.