PENN HILLS, Pa. (KDKA) – As the number of cases of COVID-19 have grown in Allegheny County, a small but growing number of younger people are testing positive or presumed positive.

Familylinks and Children’s Hospital have joined forces to set up a special place to house some of the younger patients.

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Familylinks Chief Operations Officer Dr. Marianne DiMatteo says it’s a place for “youth age 12 to 21 who are in some way actively involved in Allegheny County Youth and Family Services.”

In other words, they are in foster care or a group home where sheltering in place would not be possible.


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Dr. DiMatteo says so far, the beds aren’t needed and, “Our hope would be that we would not have a child in that age range, but we are prepared if and when we do.”

They’re prepared with a four apartment unit that feels like a home setting: “There are bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, living room, dining room. There’s televisions, there’s going to be entertainment resources for the children to have while they are there so they can be as comfortable as possible in their time of recovery.”

Medical experts will monitor their progress and if a child’s condition worsens they will be transferred to Children’s Hospital.

Dr. DiMatteo says the patients will be inside the facility and pose no risk to the neighborhood. The apartment can house up to fifteen young people at a time. It is fully staffed and ready to take on patients at any time.

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