Suffolk officials set up tents Thursday outside the John J. Foley Skilled Nursing Facility in Yaphank to serve as mobile medical centers.
Vanessa Baird Streeter, spokeswoman for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, said the centers are intended to serve local residents who have medical needs, but do not need a physician’s attention. The tents were supplied by the Department of Fire Rescue and Emergency Services and were to be staffed by health department employees.
Grace Kelly-McGovern, health department spokeswoman, said the between 75 to 80 people stayed at Foley Wednesday night. She said the department expects the need to increase and there will cots to meet the rising demand because the facility, which has about 180 residents was at capacity. The nursing home which usually has staffing of 200 is being bolstered by 30 to help wit their expanded role.
The medical tents, which total about 4,000 square feet, were to begin accepting people last night. The tents, officially called an alternative temporary medical care facility, will have cots and has the capacity to serve from 60 to 80 people with health needs. It will be staffed with medical reserve volunteers with back-up from the nursing home.
Legis. Kate Browning (WFP—Shirley) said the nursing home workers have begun receiving layoff notices that their county jobs will be terminated at year’s end because of the sale of the nursing home.