Winona Health among those receiving emergency help from Minnesota

WINONA, Minn. (WKBT) — Winona Health is one of 23 hospitals who will receive help from Minnesota this week in the form of emergency medical teams.

Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday that more than 100 nurses will start arriving at health care facilities around the state. The governor directed $40 million in American Rescue Plan funding to hire the emergency staff as hospitals deal with shortages caused by the current COVID-19 case surge.

“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,” said Walz. “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.”

The first wave of help arrived this week. More help is coming to other hospitals next week.

Minnesota hospitals are reporting high levels 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.

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