Claremont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center set to be sold

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CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) – The sale of Claremont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Cumberland County came up for discussion at the county commissioners meeting this week, and some people are upset with how it’s being handled.

This all comes as Claremont reported Tuesday that five residents passed away due to COVID-19 over the previous four days. Since February, 10 residents have died from the virus, and 54 residents and 32 staffers have tested positive.

“Let’s get through COVID and then talk about selling this nursing home or resolving the problems,” said Steven Mullen, supervisor of union representative for Claremont, AFSCME.

But County Commissioner Chairman Gary Eichelberger says this can’t be put off again, as the nursing home’s finances have been an issue for awhile.

“The options really simply are that we transfer the ownership to someone who’s specialized in it, in today’s competitive environment, or we would simply subsidize it at property tax payments from our citizens and the latter really isn’t acceptable to us,” said Eichelberger.

Right now, bids are due by November 30th. But union reps for Claremont workers say, there should be more time for public input. At Monday’s county commissioners meeting, we’re told the public consensus was, wait to sell.

“No matter how well intentioned this discussion is right now, to add another layer of stress,” said Rick Rovegno, former Cumberland County Commissioner.

Eichelberger says all the residents will stay at the facilty with a new owner. About 80 percent of the residents are on Medicaid and that will be part of the sale agreement. There are also worries about staff layoffs.

“I’d venture a guess that virtually everyone is going to be offered to continue as long as they perform and meet all the standards,” said Eichelberger.

The sale is expected to be finalized at the end of June.

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