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Mills activates more Maine National Guard members to help hospitals with record COVID patients

Virus Outbreak Maine
Robert F. Bukaty
Members of the Maine National Guard arrive for orientation an empty wing at Central Maine Medical Center, Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021, in Lewiston, Maine. The Guard will work as nursing assistants, helping to open a swing bed unit of the hospital that has been closed due to a nursing shortage.

Gov. Janet Mills is activating more Maine National Guard members to help hospitals as they deal with record numbers of COVID-19 patients.

Mills announced that up to 169 more members of the guard will be activated across the state next week. They come on top of dozens of guard members deployed last month to assist with the surge.

The state says the members will serve in non-clinical roles and are intended to alleviate the stress on medical staff in the midst of the spread of the Omicron variant. The guard members are scheduled to be deployed through the end of February.

The Mills Administration also announced that federal authorities had approved requests for two more surge response teams to assist at MaineHealth in Portland and Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

The state is reporting 395 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 today — that's slightly below record numbers reported yesterday by the Maine CDC.