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More Maine National Guard Deployment to Support Hospitals In COVID Surge

Governor Janet Mills today, Jan. 11, announced that an additional 169 members of the Maine National Guard to help alleviate short-term capacity constraints at hospitals and maintain access to inpatient health care for Maine people amid record-high COVID-19 hospitalizations.

The additional Guard members will serve in non-clinical support roles at health care facilities across the state and will help hospitals maintain capacity by freeing up clinical staff to focus on patient care. Their assistance will also open additional beds at nursing facilities.

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Governor Mills said:

I wish we did not have to take this step, but the rise in hospitalizations – caused primarily by those who are not vaccinated – is stretching the capacity of our health care system thin, jeopardizing care for Maine people, and putting increased strain on our already exhausted health care workers. The National Guard have been an invaluable asset during this public health emergency, and with this new order, we are hopeful that our hospitals will be able to open more beds to provide for surge care. Of course, the most fundamental way to help our hospitals maintain capacity and give our health care workers a much-needed break is to follow their advice and get vaccinated. It may save your life or someone else’s.

Governor Mills also announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved her request for Federal COVID-19 Surge Response Teams for MaineHealth in Portland and Central Maine Medical Center (CMMC) in Lewiston. These two teams, consisting of a total of 7 Federally-contracted nurses and pharmacists, began arriving yesterday and are scheduled to stay through January 27, 2022. Three clinicians will go to MaineHealth while four will go to CMMC, where they will administer COVID-19 vaccines, freeing up Maine clinicians to provide patient care.

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