Another federal team coming to help Elliot Hospital, as state remains strained by COVID

·2 min read

Dec. 31—Another federal team of doctors, nurses and paramedics is set to arrive Monday at Elliot Hospital, less than two weeks after another federal team ended its deployment to the hospital.

Since this summer, the federal government has been deploying healthcare workers to states where COVID-19 has stretched hospital staff thin.

A team from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was deployed to Elliot Hospital in December for a two-week tour, as New Hampshire struggled to deal with record-high COVID hospitalizations, and the Elliot Hospital was forced to close a part of its emergency room to care for other patients.

The 17-person team of paramedics and clinical staff set to arrive Monday at Elliot Hospital is part of the 100-person deployment President Joe Biden ordered on Dec. 21, with other teams headed to hospitals in Vermont, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin and Arizona.

Biden has also directed the Department of Defense to prepare 1,000 military doctors, nurses, paramedics, and others with medical training to deploy to hospitals in January and February.

Though hospitalizations from COVID-19 have fallen slightly in recent days, New Hampshire's hospitals are still full. According to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 83% of New Hampshire's hospital beds are full. As of Friday, just 31 of New Hampshire's 240 intensive care beds were available. More than 40% of the people in intensive care have COVID-19.

Even as the number of tests performed in New Hampshire have been falling since early December, according to state data, from a daily average of more than 11,000 in the first week of the month to just over 9,000 in the days before Christmas and just over 7,000 over the past week, the proportion of positive tests is still growing.

The average positivity rate in early December was about 13%, while this week it is over 17%.

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