MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is seeking to use $40 million in federal funding for emergency staffing support at hospitals ahead of an anticipated surge in omicron cases that is already straining the state's hospital capacity.

Walz on Wednesday announced his request to fund the hiring of nurses to work 60 hours per week for 60 days at hospitals experiencing shortages due to the virus.

The request follows another $40 million Walz wants to put toward expanding testing.

Both requests come out of $500 million in American Rescue Plan state funds for immediate COVID-19 response.

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