Pennsylvania Hospitals to Receive Strike Teams Following Gov. Wolf’s Call for Federal Support

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HARRISBURG, PA — Acting Secretary of Health Keara Klinepeter has confirmed that following Governor Tom Wolf’s request for support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Pennsylvania hospitals will receive strike teams to relieve hospital capacity strain in areas hit hardest by the latest COVID-19 surge. 

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) are actively working with FEMA, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Department of Defense to identify available resources. While the department is working with our federal partners, strike team placements will be determined by the federal government.

“The federal government has responded to Governor Wolf’s request for additional support for Pennsylvania’s health care system and we are now meeting with them daily to finalize support plans,” Klinepeter said. “At this time, we do know that strike teams will be sent to the commonwealth and are working with our federal partners to identify and confirm exact locations and any additional resources.”

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On December 15, the Wolf Administration outlined key support areas needed in Pennsylvania to support our health care system during the continued battle with COVID-19. Identified supports included critical staffing supports and additional pandemic response support focused on rural areas.

“Any federal assistance will help relieve some pressure on the health system so there is capacity to treat people who need hospital care,” PEMA Director Randy Padfield said.

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