COVID hospitalizations: National Guard assists in SE Wisconsin

Gov. Tony Evers announced in January that National Guard troops would help ease staffing shortages at Wisconsin hospitals and nursing homes.

Thursday, it was announced that 70 more National Guard members finished training, and some will be placed in southeastern Wisconsin. Fifty others had previously been assigned to long-term care facilities.

"Since last month, this effort is providing staffing support from approximately 117 National Guard members at 17 skilled nursing facilities around the state," said Deb Standridge with the DHS.

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The Wisconsin Department of Health Services said placement for the newly-trained members include Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha and Glendale. Troops were trained as certified nursing assistants and then sent to health care facilities with inadequate staffing. The National Guard is also on hand to help allow for more hospital beds for COVID-19 patients.

The latest data shows, statewide, 92% of intensive care unit beds are in use, and 1,400 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 complications in Wisconsin. Of those 1,400, 296 patients are in ICU beds.

Evers said another wave of troops is expected to train as certified nursing assistants in the coming weeks.

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