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FEMA will announce expanded flexibility for National Guard to help support US hospitals in battle with Covid-19


A National Guard pilot trained in hospital procedures at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts last month.  The Massachusetts National Guard has activated its troops and air force to help address the shortage of medical personnel.
A National Guard pilot trained in hospital procedures at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts last month. The Massachusetts National Guard has activated its troops and air force to help address the shortage of medical personnel. (Image Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty)

Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell is set to notification at the White House on Friday, the news summarizes new steps from the Biden administration to help ease staffing shortages at hospitals across the country amid the spread of the Omicron variant.

On Thursday, an administration official told CNN Criswell “directed an expansion of FEMA’s policy to assist Governors in using their National Guard to respond to urgent staffing needs in the United States.” health care facilities.”

This FEMA directive means that governors have more flexibility in using National Guard members for hospital support services.

“FEMA now allows governors the flexibility to perform critical support tasks in primary health settings when, in the judgment of public health officials, doing so is necessary to maintain the delivery of Covid-19 medical care at those facilities, and failure to do so constitutes an immediate threat to the health and safety of the public,” the official said. speak.

Additional services that National Guard members can now provide include “activities such as laundry and linen services, food preparation and delivery, biomedical waste removal, cycle fencing vi, contracted security guards, professional cleaning and other related services,” the official said.

More background information: That extended help comes as cases continue to rise and hospitalizations increase. Some states’ health care system equipped with almost complete intensive care units. Nineteen states have less than 15% capacity left in their intensive care units. Four of those have less than 10%: Kentucky, Alabama, Indiana and New Hampshire, according to data Wednesday from the US Department of Health and Human Services. The increase in cases has led to a reduction in staff at hospitals, from doctors to support staff.

President Biden announced Thursday that the United States has deployed 120 military medical personnel to six of the hardest-hit states: Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island and New Mexico.

Since Thanksgiving, more than 800 military and other federal personnel have been deployed across 24 states, tribes and territories, he said, including more than 350 military doctors, nurses and medical personnel. . More than 14,000 National Guard members are also activated in 49 states. He noted that all of those implementations were fully covered by the Covid relief package passed by Congress early last year. He said he has also directed FEMA to ensure there is adequate hospital bed capacity in every state.

Friday’s announcement is intended to alleviate a shortage of additional personnel. The use of the National Guard will be paid for by FEMA, as authorized by Biden, through April 1.

Criswell joined White House press secretary Jen Psaki at the boardroom podium at 11:45 a.m. ET.

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