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Wyoming governor sends National Guard to help struggling hospitals

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Posted at 8:16 PM, Sep 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-21 23:51:28-04

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The governor of Wyoming has activated the National Guard to help hospitals in the state that are overwhelmed by COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Gov. Mark Gordon announced Tuesday that 95 Guard members would be assigned to hospitals across the state as part of "State Active Duty" orders.

The announcement said as of Tuesday, there were 200 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Wyoming, which is near the state's peak during the pandemic.

"COVID-19 hospitalizations have exacerbated existing staffing shortages. Our Guard members will provide temporary assistance to hospitals to free up medically trained staff. I’m grateful for their commitment to our state," Gordon said in a tweet. "[They will] help alleviate some of the strain and workload being felt by Wyoming hospital workers."

The Guard members will be assigned on 14-30 day rotations (which may be extended) until Dec. 31. The number and locations of those deployed may change depending on hospitals' needs.

“The Delta variant has overwhelmed the medical institutions of states across this country. Our state is no different with most hospitals at or near capacity,” Wyoming National Guard Col. David Pritchett said in the announcement. “The Soldiers and Airmen of the Wyoming National Guard are proud to jump back in to provide much needed assistance to our communities as we continue to battle the effects of COVID-19.”

The governor urged residents to do what they can to help curb the latest surge in cases, hospitalizations and deaths due to the virus.

"Choosing to get vaccinated is the most effective way to help ease the pressure on our healthcare system and our healthcare workers," he wrote on Twitter.