Pa. National Guard called in to assist with testing at Berks County nursing home

The last numbers from May 11 showed 39 residents had tested positive for COVID-19, and 15 residents had died.

  • By Becky Metrick/PennLive

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(Reading) — After weeks of positive tests in residents at Berks Heim Nursing and Rehabilitation, the county commissioners have announced that they are partnering with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Pa. National Guard to do a full assessment of the facility.

The last numbers the county reported to the media came from May 11, when they announced a total of 39 residents had tested positive for COVID-19, and 15 residents had died. The state’s most recent data on the home shows it has 52 resident cases of COVID-19, 8 employee cases, and 13 deaths.

The National Guard is being brought in to assist with the testing of all the Berks Heim staff and residents who give their approval for testing. In some cases, the approval will come for a resident’s family or guardian.

Training, consultation and testing will also be done at the facility, with the efforts beginning on Thursday. The testing is expected to be done next week, led by the Pa. National Guard.

The staff from the CDC are contracted to provide on-site assistance for long-term care facilities using their infection prevention and control expertise.

“This assistance is available to nursing homes and long-term care facilities throughout the Commonwealth and Berks County is taking advantage of this support,” Commissioner Christian Leinbach said. “We need to do everything we can to protect our residents and our staff.”

PennLive and The Patriot-News are partners with PA Post.

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