Teams of 22 medics headed to Minnesota amid COVID-19 surge

The federal government will send two emergency medical teams to Minnesota to support hospital staffing needs, Gov. Tim Walz announced Nov. 17.

The two Defense Department teams, with 22 medical personnel each, will arrive at HCMC in Minneapolis and St. Cloud Hospital next week, according to a news release from the governor's office. They will and immediately begin treating patients.

"Hospitals around the state need urgent support, and my administration is using every tool at our disposal to help them," Mr. Walz said. "The emergency staffing teams coming to HCMC and St. Cloud Hospital over the next few days will provide an important measure of relief to the healthcare personnel who remain on the front line of this crisis. Every day, our doctors and nurses are treating Minnesotans sick with COVID-19 or suffering other emergencies. But they are under water, and they need all the help we can give them."

The staffing teams come amid a COVID-19 surge in Minnesota. As of Nov. 18, new daily cases had risen 62 percent compared to 14 days before, with an average of 75 cases reported per 100,000 people, according to data tracked by The New York Times. New daily COVID-19 hospitalizations have risen 36 percent over the last two weeks, with an average of 26 COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 people.

Amid the surge, Minnesota has already partnered with two senior living facilities — Good Samaritan Society - Bethany in Brainerd and Benedictine St. Gertrude's in Shakopee, to serve as alternative care facilities. Mr. Walz said Cerenity Senior Care - Marian of Saint Paul will also make additional beds available Nov. 22 to act an alternative care site.

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