State will deploy National Guard troops to understaffed nursing home in Syracuse, expected to relieve pressure on hospitals

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The New York State Department of Health confirms to NewsChannel 9 that National Guard troops will be deployed to Loretto Health and Rehabilitation as a way to relieve pressure on overwhelmed hospitals.

A spokesperson for Loretto confirms the facility is expecting 18 troops who will serve as certified nursing assistants.

The idea, as explained by the governor’s office, allows hospitals to now discharge a backlog of non-COVID patients who belong in nursing homes, but haven’t been able to go back because the faculties are dealing with staffing shortages.

The new flow of patients is expected to open up more beds in hospitals, which has had to limit its capacity because of a similar staffing shortage.

At a briefing Thursday, Governor Kathy Hochul said: “Why are we going to nursing homes, not the hospitals? There are hundreds of people sitting in hospitals today who could be discharged. Non-COVID patients who could be discharged to long-term care facilities or nursing homes except there’s not capacity. We take care of capacity on the back end, address that, have more discharges and relieve pressure on hospitals.”

“We have been working with nursing homes across the state to identify where these medical teams will have the most impact on regional health systems,” a health department spokesperson said.

The exact number of troops deployed to Syracuse hasn’t been finalized. They are expected to arrive this weekend or early next week.

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