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TWIN CITIES, MN — More than 100 nurses will start arriving at hospitals around Minnesota this week to help with staff shortages during the current COVID-19 case surge. Gov. Tim Walz is using $40 million in American Rescue Plan funding to hire the emergency staff.
The Minnesota Department of Health is directing nursing teams to help the hospitals most in need of staff. The nurses will work up to 60 hours per week for a total of 60 days, officials said.
According to Walz's office, the first round of nursing teams will arrive at 23 hospitals this week, and 100 additional nurses will arrive in Minnesota in the days ahead to support more hospitals.
"Our health care workers have provided superb care to sick Minnesotans throughout this pandemic. But now, the Omicron variant is causing cases to surge, in some cases sidelining our medical personnel," Walz said in a news release.
"At this critical moment, when our doctors and nurses are asking for our help, we are providing it. More than 100 nurses will provide urgent care and relieve overworked staff at Minnesota hospitals right away, with more help on the way. As we confront the Omicron variant in the weeks ahead, the best way for Minnesotans to help our hospitals is to get vaccinated and get boosted for COVID-19, wear a mask in public, and get tested and stay home if you’re sick."
This week, 105 health care workers will arrive to support the following hospitals:
Lake Region Healthcare
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
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
Abbott Northwestern Hospital
North Memorial Hospital
M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Medical Center
"The COVID-19 response effort has been a team effort from the start, and with this intense Omicron surge we have needed to find creative solutions to make sure our health care workers have the support they need," said health commissioner Jan Malcolm.
"We appreciate our federal partners and all those who helped make today’s announcement possible, and we ask all Minnesotans to do their part to slow the spread and reduce pressure on our health care systems."