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Maine National Guard members will deploy to 16 health care facilities next week

Virus Outbreak Maine
Robert F. Bukaty
Members of the Maine National Guard take part in orientation 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.

Members of the Maine National Guard will begin deploying to 16 additional hospitals, residential facilities and medical clinics across the state beginning next Thursday.

Earlier this week, Gov. Janet Mills announced that she was mobilizing an additional 169 Guard members to help health care facilities deal with record-high numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations. On Friday, the governor's office said the largest contingent of Guard members — 30 of the 169 — will be sent to Maine Medical Center in Portland while 19 will go to Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick, 17 to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport and 16 to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.

Smaller numbers of Guard members will deploy to hospitals in Lewiston, Farmington, Damariscotta, Biddeford, Westbrook, Belfast and York. But 5 members will be assigned to assisted-living facilities in Auburn and Rumford while 7 will help at a walk-in care unit operated by York Hospital.

More than 200 Guard members were already deployed around the state to perform non-clinical tasks — such as staffing testing and vaccine clinics, helping with equipment or transportation, and supporting laboratory operations.