Department of Defense medical personnel deployed to Abbott Northwestern Hospital

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Another federal medical team arrives in Minnesota as the state the health system remains under pressure by the latest wave of the pandemic, Governor Tim Walz announced on Friday.

The team of 23 doctors, nurses and hospital staff from the Department of Defense will arrive at Abbott Northwestern Hospital on Saturday to treat patients and relieve staff, according to a news release. They will stay for 30 days.

Federal medical teams have previously worked at Hennepin County Medical Center, M Health Fairview Southdale Hospital and St. Cloud Hospital.

The governor’s office also announced Friday that 201 nurses and respiratory therapists have pledged to provide acute care at 32 hospitals across the state. Walz is using $40 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to send temporary workers to understaffed hospitals, where they will work up to 60 hours a week for 60 days.

The highly contagious omicron variant is still driving high rates of COVID-19 transmission in Minnesota, though health officials say this wave may have peaked.

More than 1,500 Minnesotans were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Thursday, 213 of them in intensive care units — the lowest number of intensive care patients in at least two months. Hospital beds remain scarce, however, with only six intensive care beds and 35 non-ICU beds available in the Twin Cities.

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