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Regional support sites for Pennsylvania hospitals

It's called the Regional Decompressor Initiative and is run through the Department of Health and PEMA.

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. — It's a sight you don't often see—30 empty beds inside Pleasant Valley Manor near Stroudsburg.

But that won't be for long. Soon the beds will be filled with patients being discharged from area hospitals.

Drew Lutton is the administrator at the nursing home. He says it's part of a state program.

"Hospitals are having trouble getting back to their normal schedule of elective surgeries and everything else. As such, having the option to regional, refer residents to PVM, as opposed to just working with their local facilities that may or may not have staffing issues, and may or may not be able to take in the normal clientele base referred from the hospital, is just an added avenue that helps them quite a bit," said Lutton.

It's called the Regional Decompressor Initiative and is run through the Pennsylvania Department of Health and PEMA.

About six nursing homes, one in each region of the state, will serve area hospitals struggling to meet staffing and patient demand.

Anyone in northeastern Pennsylvania getting discharged from a hospital and having trouble finding a long-term care facility will be sent to Pleasant Valley Manor.

None of the patients can be COVID-positive. They are signed on for the short-term but can eventually become long-term residents.

Lutton says the state is providing nurses along with footing the bill, which FEMA will cover.

Pleasant Valley Manor was chosen because they had extra space available.

"If it helps us to slowly and properly progress out of the census and still admit to the other sections of the building which we are also doing. We do have great staffing now. Our staffing levels are high," Lutton said. "So we are able to do it; we thought that it was a proper obligation to help out."

The unit will stay for about 90 days. It will end when hospital needs are satisfied and no longer have problems with beds.

Watch more stories about the coronavirus pandemic on WNEP’s YouTube page.

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