Ongoing need for National Guard to fight COVID-19 in Pa. nursing homes drives request for Trump to expand benefits

The COVID-19 crisis is lasting much longer than the normal disasters that trigger deployment of the Pennsylvania National Guard. A big part of their role involves helping at long-term care facilities. Many facilities needed help in spring, and some need it again as Pennsylvania faces a second surge of COVID-19 infections.

“I would say this is a job the National Guard never expected to have,” said Dr. Albert Fogle, a lieutenant colonel in the Pennsylvania National Guard. As a doctor, he specializes in caring for older people.

The National Guard’s work in long-term care facilities has ranged from directly caring for residents to washing floors to transporting supplies to helping residents do on-line visits with loved ones.

With Pennsylvania experiencing a second major wave of COVID-19 cases, the guard is again needed to help long-term care facilities with things including offsetting staff shortages and helping to control spread of infections.

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