Wisconsin National Guard To Help Hospitals Amid Omicron Wave

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  • Tony Evers
    46th governor of Wisconsin

WISCONSIN — Members of the Wisconsin National Guard will help the staff at hospitals and nursing home facilities across the state, Gov. Tony Evers announced on Thursday as COVID-19 hospitalizations reached record-breaking numbers on Wednesday.

The Wisconsin National Guard will send in over 200 members to train as nursing assistants and go to state hospitals and nursing homes from Thursday to the end of February, Evers said in a statement.

The governor said he aims to free up 200 or more nursing home beds by the end of February with the members' help. Around 50 members were sent to six nursing homes across Wisconsin already, Evers added.

National Guard members will train at the Madison Area Technical College and work as certified nursing assistants, Evers said.

Hospitalizations for people suffering from COVID-19 reached their highest number in the state's history on Wednesday, Wisconsin Hospital Association data showed. Wisconsin residents being treated for coronavirus illness reached 2,278, while the previous record was 2,277 patients in November 2020.

Coronavirus cases continue to skyrocket and omicron's surge isn't due until the end of January or the start of February, health experts said. There were 13,004 residents infected with COVID-19 on Wednesday, with a seven-day average of 9,915 new cases per day, Wisconsin Department of Health Services data showed.

See Also: Wisconsin COVID-19 Hospitalizations Set New Record

The state is looking at every available option to support Wisconsin's overwhelmed health care staff, Evers said.

"As cases of Omicron continue to surge, this support is critical for supporting Wisconsin’s nursing homes," State health services Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake said in a statement.

The state recruited over 500 nurses and nursing assistants in early January, and health officials announced that emergency staff from the Federal Emergency Management Agency would help staff Wisconsin's intensive care units in December 2021.

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This article originally appeared on the Milwaukee Patch

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