National Guard deployed to Westmoreland Co. nursing home

National Guard deployed to help at Westmoreland Co. nursing home

WESTMORELAND CO., Pa. — The National Guard is being deployed to another Westmoreland County nursing home where COVID-19 cases are surging.

Twin Lakes Rehab and Healthcare Center in Greensburg is the latest facility in the county to need help from the National Guard. Eight service members were deployed Friday and were expected to be on site at the facility Saturday.

Twin Lakes has seen a surge in cases just since mid-October. Before that, their administrator says they had no cases.

Content Continues Below

Now there have been 71 residents and 32 staff members who tested positive and nine resident deaths.

Twin Lakes administrator Arlene Runzo sent 11 Investigates the following statement:

Thank you again for reaching out today to inquire on the status of COVID-19 and the impact it has had on our community here at Twin Lakes.  As I mentioned, we have been extremely fortunate that our facility had remained COVID-19 free since the beginning until recently.  Like most skilled facilities, we are applying all available resources and talent to ensuring the ongoing highest quality of care and safety of our residents.   I certainly want to acknowledge the public’s interest, and as we discussed during our interview, and assure them that my team and I are fully involved in the direct care of all of our residents.  Our hearts are full of appreciation for those that continue to keep our employees, staff and residents in their prayers.

Specifically, I would like to direct anyone seeking additional information on those impacted by COVID-19 via our website.   We continue to monitor and report specific data and it is readily available.   Due to the confidentiality and privacy of our employees and residents, we cannot divulge specific information about the individuals who have confirmed or suspected COVID-19, unless they are your family member and you have the necessary permissions to receive such information.  As of today, more than half of our residents and staff impacted have already recovered.  I trust your viewers can appreciate that our focus is on protecting everyone involved and to afford them the sensitivity the most difficult circumstances.

On behalf of my team, residents and healthcare providers, thank you for keeping the focus on all of the positive support that our healthcare heroes are having as skilled nursing facilities fight against COVID-19.

Cases are surging through Westmoreland County, including at Westmoreland Manor, the county-owned nursing home in Hempfield.

Twelve additional staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, the facility said in a letter Thursday, bringing their total number of cases to more than 200.

According to the Westmoreland County Commissioner Gina Cerilli, 152 residents and 60 staff members have now contracted the coronavirus since Sept. 19 -- when the facility had an outbreak after six months with zero cases.

“An increase in the number of cases is not what we would like to see for the health and safety of our resident and our staff, however, it’s not entirely unexpected as teh county positivity rate continues to climb above 10-percent,” Cerilli said.

To this point, six residents there have died from COVID-19, assistant administrator Abby Testa said in the letter.

A week after Westmoreland Manor’s coronavirus outbreak started, the National Guard was called in to help mitigate the spread. The guard was on-site for about two weeks and took over COVID-19 testing so the employees who weren’t quarantined could get back to caring for patients.

Westmoreland County set a new daily record for cases on Wednesday, when 273 new coronavirus cases were added. In the past 15 days, the county has seen more covid cases (2,728) than all of October and September combined (2,657), according to Channel 11 News’ exchange partners at TribLIVE.

Testa said strict infection control practices are being maintained at the Manor. All residents and staff are being monitored and screened daily, she added.

The National Guard just wrapped up a deployment at Westmoreland Manor and also at Quality Life Services in Apollo.

Westmoreland Co. continues to see surge in COVID-19 cases, matches rest of state