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Little activates National Guard for COVID response

Idaho National Guard members partner with the Shoshone-Bannock tribes in Fort Hall to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in December 2020. | Courtesy Master Sgt. Becky Vanshur, Idaho National Guard
The following is a news release from Idaho Gov. Brad Little on Monday.
BOISE – Gov. Brad Little activated the Idaho National Guard today for the fourth time during the pandemic to alleviate the impacts of COVID-19 in Idaho.
Gov. Little activated 75 Idaho National Guardsmen to assist Primary Health and the Idaho Department of Correction, which are experiencing staffing shortages because too many employees are absent from work due to COVID-19.
“We are not out of the pandemic, and we need to be vigilant about keeping ourselves and our loved ones healthy.”
In addition, Gov. Little said he secured 503 additional personnel through a state contract to assist Idaho hospitals overwhelmed by COVID-19.
“I am proud of our men and women of the Idaho National Guard who have stepped up time and again to help our state and communities get through an unprecedented, challenging time. The strain on health care, schools, business and government from the spread of COVID-19 is a reminder that we are not out of the pandemic, and we need to be vigilant about keeping ourselves and our loved ones healthy,” Gov. Little said.
Gov. Little and the State of Idaho have directed the following resources to expand health care capacity during the public health crisis:

By mobilizing the National Guard, deploying a military medical response team to north Idaho last year, and contracting with the federal government, hundreds of additional personnel were added to assist hospitals and affected entities since the start of the pandemic.
$1.8 million to expand the number of monoclonal antibody treatment facilities across the state to provide Idahoans life-saving medications and avoid a trip to the hospital.
Cut red tape when temporary licensing fees were waived for retired or inactive nurses so they can activate their licenses and reenter the workforce more easily. This step added more than 1,000 nurses and other health professionals.
Total $5.8 million to hospitals to help relieve staffing shortages.
Total $5.5 million for primary care and urgent care entities that serve an important role in keeping people from becoming so ill they need to seek medical care at the hospital.
Total $8.5 million to preserve hospital capacity by increasing discharges from hospitals to skilled nursing facilities for COVID-19 positive patients.
$30 million toward expanded COVID-19 testing in Idaho K-12 schools to minimize virus transmission.

RELATED | More Idaho National Guard troops to help with virus fight (January 2021)
RELATED | Idaho governor calls in help amid surge in COVID patients (August 2021)
The post Little activates National Guard for COVID response appeared first on East Idaho News.
Source: eastidahonews.com

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