Three Northeast states deploy National Guard amid pandemic health capacity crisis


By Evan Simko-Bednarski and Amy Simonson, CNN

The governors of Maine and New York have deployed the National Guard to deal with dangerously low capacity at health facilities statewide due to the pandemic.

The New York National Guard announced Wednesday that it has deployed 120 paramedics and medical technicians to dozens of long-term care facilities across the state. The deployment was carried out by order of Governor Kathy Hochul, who command last week to address staff shortages.

Service members have deployed to facilities in Syracuse, Rochester, Albany, Buffalo, Utica, Plattsburgh, Uniondale, Liberty, Vestal, Olean, Lyons and Goshen, the Guard said in a statement.

Hochul has shown that she can also deploy the Guard to hospitals — last week, about 50 hospitals in upstate New York had less than 10% bed capacity largely due to staffing shortages.

In Maine, Governor Janet Mills activated the National Guard after a spike in Covid-19 cases.

“I am not taking this action lightly, but we must take steps to ease the strain on our health care system and ensure care for all those who need it,” said Mills. said in a statement.

The state reported a record high of 379 people hospitalized with Covid-19 as of Wednesday, 60 of whom are on ventilators.

Mills’ office said in a statement Wednesday that Maine has only 42 ICU beds available statewide.

About 73% of Maine residents have had their initial dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to state figures, with 16% of the population getting a booster shot.

New Hampshire governor urges FEMA and National Guard to prepare for winter Covid-19 surge

To prepare for a winter storm surge, Governor Christopher Sununu is calling on the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Guard to help the state prepare for the Covid-19 winter storm surge.

“We have reached out to FEMA to ask for some assistance with staffing in our healthcare facilities, preparing for the winter surge,” Sununu said during a press conference at Covid-19 on Wednesday. “They’ve let us know that they’ll be sending several dozen individuals to New Hampshire to help, with the first group of 24 arriving as early as this weekend.”

Sununu says the extra staff will allow hospitals to open their doors fuller so they can better serve their communities.

FEMA will also assist by providing 30 paramedics who will arrive in New Hampshire next weekend.

“We are assigning those 30 medical workers to hospitals with the highest COVID burden,” said Sununu.

According to Sununu, officials have been working with hospitals across the state to see how they can best utilize the National Guard during the winter surge.

He announced that in the coming weeks, the state will deploy an initial team of 70 men and women from the National Guard to help hospitals where the need is most severe, supporting missions that allow operations to take place. smoother motion.

The National Guard will assist with “everything from soup, food service or clerical duties – things that can be flexible, allowing a hospital or healthcare facility to dispatch staff internally.” them to better coordinate efforts and ultimately better health care,” he said.

Dr. Benjamin Chan, an epidemiologist with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services who also attended the news conference, reported that 1,184 people had been diagnosed with Covid-19 on Wednesday.

“Over the past week, we have recorded an average of 1200 to 1300 new infections per day and now 9,868 people are infected,” he said. “The positivity rate in our test continues to be high.”

Chan said the number of hospitalizations and deaths also continued to increase.

“There are currently 462 people hospitalized statewide with COVID-19, and unfortunately we have 11 more new COVID-19 deaths reported today, bringing the total number of people who have died from COVID. -19 to 1,768.”

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https://kesq.com/news/national-world/cnn-national/2021/12/08/three-northeast-states-deploy-national-guard-amid-medical-capacity-crisis-due-to-pandemic-2/ Three Northeast states deploy National Guard amid pandemic health capacity crisis


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