Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota said on Friday that he would call upon the state’s National Guard to help ease staffing shortages that have kept hospitals from transferring Covid-19 patients for stepped-down care at long-term care facilities.
Mr. Walz called the transfers a “very typical thing in our medical system” and said they had been bottlenecked by capacity at those facilities. He said the National Guard will be given the training necessary to provide long-term care. He did not say how many soldiers will provide that relief, but said it will be “a fairly large contingent.”
The governor traveled to North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale, just outside Minneapolis, to announce the plan.
said the staffing shortages among health care workers stemmed from “the extreme stress and burnout that they have faced for over 18 months now.”
The state is facing another surge of cases. Patients infected with coronavirus are nearing 1,000 in the state’s hospitals, according to state data. Cases in Minnesota are up 20 percent in the last two weeks, as are hospitalizations, according to a New York Times database.