PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s called preventive testing and it’s happening more and more in our area.
Hundreds of people are flocking to testing sites each day hoping to secure a negative COVID-19 test result before upcoming holiday travel and family get-togethers.READ MORE: Report Finds Tourism Dollars Set To Rebound In Allegheny County In 2022
KDKA’s Meghan Schiller learned this testing increase comes alongside a patient increase at local hospitals.
According to Allegheny Health Network, the region is seeing an increase in cases, but we’re still at about 50 percent of the patient numbers we saw this time last year.
That’s some good news to pass along, but not every hospital system in the state is as lucky.
Allegheny Health Network’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Donald Whiting said AHN sees COVID-19 positive patients at every facility in the network, and it is trying to deal with the “Great Resignation” and staffing shortages.READ MORE: Homeowner, Dog Escape Burning House In Brookline
He heard about Governor Tom Wolf’s request to FEMA for strike teams to help hospitals struggling with high case counts and staffing shortages but didn’t know if any would come to the Pittsburgh area.
So far, Governor Wolf’s office released this about the request for additional support:
It’ll include “critical staffing support,” including hospital strike teams, skilled nursing facility strike teams and ambulance strike teams. It will also include “continued pandemic response support” that will focus on rural areas, funneling more at-home testing kits to places with lower vaccination rates.
“Getting people out of the hospitals to the personal care homes and nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities, that’s been an issue because of staffing in those areas. So it’s my understanding that is something where they’re looking to assist those facilities to help us with our thru-put in the acute care hospitals,” said Dr. Whiting.MORE NEWS: Saving And Spending: How To Make, Meet Goals When Planning For The Future
KDKA’s Meghan Schiller reached out to the governor’s office Thursday and learned Gov. Wolf’s request for additional assistance was just an “initial ask” and they’ll only release more details “if and when” the federal government responds.