On Monday morning, the National Guard arrived at Pleasant Ridge Manor to provide staffing support.
Currently, the National Guard is assisting at six facilities just like Pleasant Ridge Manor. They have been to 80 facilities since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
The National Guard sending a total of eight guards to the front line of a new war. This battle taking place at Erie’s COVID-19 plagued Pleasant Ridge Manor where staffing dilemmas have exploded.
“It hurts us to see our communities suffering. We are very proud to be able to help provide any possible relief we can in those times.” said Keith Hickox, Public Affairs Officer.
Inside, half of the team will assist with medical needs. The other half of the teams will assist with housekeeping, laundry and food services.
“We’ve got a great capacity to be able to adapt to different types of missions such as this.” Hickox said.
This comes as the facility faces major issues with not only resident infection, but staffing.
Currently, 131 residents have COVID-19, while 59 staff members have also contracted the virus.
29 of them are expected to return next week.
Robert Smith, the Executive Director of Pleasant Ridge Manor, says this wave of the virus has been the hardest yet.
“We think it came back in through a couple of our residents who went to outside appointments which were permitted because it was when everything was going ‘better.’ When they came back, they were asymptomatic.” Smith said.
As the virus continues to be an issue at Pleasant Ridge, we did ask if they felt they could handled the situation without the assistance of the National Guard. They said that they could but they are thankful for any assistance the National Guard can provide.
“This is something you can hear about, but until it actually happens, you don’t understand the rapidity that this can spread.” Smith said.
The National Guard is expected to stay for one week.