Over 100 nurses arrive to help short-staffed state hospitals

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(ABC 6 News) – Wednesday, Governor Tim Walz announced more than 100 nurses will start arriving at health care facilities around the state beginning immediately.

Governor Walz last week directed $40 million in American Rescue Plan funding to hire emergency staff to provide care at certain hospitals dealing with staff shortages during the current COVID-19 case surge.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) secured the staffing support and is directing nursing teams to hospitals identified by regional healthcare providers as most in need of emergency personnel. The nurses will work up to 60 hours per week for 60 days to provide care for patients.

The first round of nursing teams will arrive at 23 hospitals this week. Another wave of an additional 100 nurses will arrive in Minnesota in the days ahead to support even more healthcare facilities.

“We are working across the state to ensure our hospitals have the staffing support they need to provide urgent care during this Omicron surge,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “As we deal with the difficult weeks ahead, we owe our doctors, nurses, and front-line heroes all the support they need, and every Minnesotan owes it to them to take simple steps to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19. Get vaccinated, get boosted, wear a mask, get tested, and stay home if you’re sick.”

Beginning Tuesday, 105 health care workers will start arriving to support the following hospitals:

  • Winona Health
  • Lake Region Healthcare
  • Alomere Health
  • Sanford Bemidji Medical Center
  • Carris Health – Willmar
  • Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center
  • Sanford Worthington Medical Center
  • Mayo Clinic Health System – Mankato
  • Essentia Health – St Mary’s Medical Center
  • CentraCare Monticello
  • M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center – Wyoming
  • M Health Fairview Northland Medical Center – Princeton
  • M Health Fairview Southdale Hospital
  • Allina Health Clinic – Buffalo
  • Allina Health – Cambridge Medical Center
  • CentraCare Melrose
  • Mercy Hospital
  • Abbott Northwestern Hospital
  • Regions Hospital
  • North Memorial Hospital
  • HCMC
  • M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Medical Center
  • United Hospital

Minnesota hospitals are reporting high levels of staff absences due COVID-19 infections and exposures, even as they treat a rising number of COVID-19 patients. As of Monday, Minnesota hospitals are treating more than 1,600 people for COVID-19, nearly 80 more than this time last week. There are almost 250 COVID-19 patients in Minnesota ICUs.