SCRANTON, Pa. — With 369 beds, Allied Services says it is the largest nonprofit skilled nursing facility in the region, but now the state Department of Health is giving the long-term nursing home another label.
It has the fourth-highest number of residents with COVID-19 cases at 163 people with the virus.
People shopping at a Gerrity's nearby say they have heard the coronavirus has hit nursing homes hard, including Allied Services.
"Oh definitely, definitely," said Donna Delpret from Clarks Summit. "We have a friend that works there, and she said it's safe, but it's just the older generation that's getting this."
The Department of Health reports there have been 41 residents at Allied Services who have died from COVID-19.
However, Allied Services said in a statement: :
"To date, 18 residents have passed away, as a result of complications from COVID-19 while residing in our skilled nursing facility. Additionally, 10 of our residents who were receiving acute care in local hospitals, and were expected to return to our facility, passed away in those hospitals prior to returning to Allied Services. All 28 of these unfortunate deaths were reported in accordance with state and locally established guidelines."
Allied Services also said it is providing care for, "the sickest, most vulnerable and elderly in Northeastern Pennsylvania, including residents who were on life-sustaining ventilator care even prior to the COVID -19 pandemic."
"They're more at risk, to begin with," said Sue Chimel from South Abington Township. "I mean, that's just a fact, but I know these facilities do as much as they can do."
In a statement from Allied Services, it said:
"We are extremely heartbroken for every resident and family member who have experienced loss during this pandemic. We believe that each and every loss is too many as our staff takes care of them like members of their own family and we are all devastated."
"I think Allied is one of the better facilities in the area for nursing home," said David Burnside from Scranton.
Allied Services said it plans to work with the Department of Health in the next coming days to reconcile the discrepancies in its number of reported cases and reported deaths to ensure the integrity of the data.