BISMARCK — With North Dakota leading the nation’s surging COVID-19 outbreak, 60 medical personnel from the U.S. Air Force have been deployed to help relieve the state’s hospital staffing crisis.
The team consists primarily of nurses and will divide into specialty units to assist staffs at medical centers in Minot, Bismarck, Fargo and Grand Forks. The relief effort comes after the Federal Emergency Management Agency fulfilled an aid request submitted by Gov. Doug Burgum, according to a press statement released Thursday, Nov. 19.
In addition to the military nurses, the Department of Health has contracted with a temporary staffing agency that will provide another 60 civilian nurses for work in hospitals and nursing homes beginning this weekend.
“With hospitals projecting a surge in COVID-19 patients in the coming weeks, we’re deeply grateful to the Department of Defense and FEMA for granting our request for additional resources to help save lives and alleviate the immense pressure on North Dakota’s hospitals and long-term care facilities,” said Burgum in the statement.
In a further sign of the state’s overburden health care system, Sanford announced earlier this week that it is preparing a 20-bed COVID surge unit to be staffed by traveling nurses. The facility is expected to open next week.