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Health

Mills is deploying 38 Maine National Guard members to ten hospitals starting this week

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Gov. Janet Mills announced details on the deployment of Maine National Guard members to help hospitals deal with the latest surge in COVID-19 cases.

The administration says 15 Guard members will be sent this week to the Saint Joseph's Manor nursing home and rehabilitation center in Portland and 12 members will be assigned to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. Those deployments will open more than 40 additional beds for patients discharged from hospitals, which are seeing record numbers of severely ill COVID-19 patients.

Mills said last week that she would activate up to 75 National Guard members to help with non-clinical roles in hospitals and nursing homes.

"Enhancing those facilities' ability to accept more patients will relieve the bottleneck that will then allow hospitals to provide more inpatient care for more people with COVID-19 and other serious health problems," Mills said.

Another 13 National Guard members will be sent this month to other hospitals in Bangor, Waterville, Portland, Norway, Farmington, Rumford and Bridgton. They will help administer mono-clonal antibodies, which can prevent serious cases of COVID-19.

As of today, there are 378 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Maine, including 106 in critical care and 58 on ventilators. There are currently just 63 available intensive care unit beds available in Maine.