ST. CLOUD --Some much needed help has arrived at St. Cloud Hospital.

Around 23 medical personnel with the U.S. Air Force arrived in St. Cloud this weekend, to assist staff in treating patients as Minnesota hospitals continue to deal with staffing shortages.

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Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Huseman is the Officer in Charge of the St. Cloud Medical Response Team. He says they began orientation Saturday and should be integrated on various units in the next day or so.

Formal orientation began Sunday and again Monday and after that we move into a standard shift schedule. It could be helping with gaps in schedules, nights or days it all depends on what goes on.

Husman says his team consists of doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists who will provide additional support within the ICU, surgical units, and emergency rooms.

Major General Jeffrey Van is the Commanding General for the Joint Task Force Civil Support. He says once a request is made, it takes just a few days to get a team mobilized.

It takes us about four or five days to get the team together and fly them out here. I send a recon team out immediately to get feet on the ground, learn the local team, find out the specifics of the mission and get our folks use to the facilities and protocols.

 

This is one of 18 federal medical teams from the Department of Defense mobilized throughout the country in six states to help with COVID-19 staffing needs.

The Medical Response Team will be helping at St. Cloud Hospital for the next 30 days, however that could be extended based on varying factors.

CentraCare officials say Stearns County's COVID-19 positivity rate has increased to roughly 18%, with roughly 117 people currently being cared for with COVID-19.

Medical Response Teams