Federal Emergency Administration Company administrator Deanne Criswell is ready to announce at Friday’s White Home information briefing new steps from the Biden administration to assist alleviate staffing shortages at hospitals throughout the nation amid the unfold of the Omicron variant.
On Thursday, an administration official advised CNN, Criswell “directed an enlargement of FEMA coverage to help Governors in utilizing their Nationwide Guard to satisfy pressing staffing wants at healthcare services.”
This course from FEMA signifies that governors have extra flexibility to make use of Nationwide Guard members for help providers at hospitals.
“Now, FEMA has granted governors flexibility to carry out very important help missions at main medical services when, within the judgment of public well being officers, doing so is important to maintain the availability of Covid-19 medical care at these services and failure to take action would represent a direct menace to the general public well being and security,” the official stated.
These additional providers Nationwide Guard members can now present embody “actions like linen and laundry providers, meals preparation and supply, biomedical waste removing, perimeter fencing, contracted safety guards, skilled cleansing, and different associated providers,” the official stated.
Extra background: That expanded assist comes as instances proceed to surge and hospitalizations rise. Some states’ well being care methods are beset with nearly-full intensive care items. Nineteen states have lower than 15% remaining capability of their intensive care items. 4 of them have lower than 10%: Kentucky, Alabama, Indiana and New Hampshire, in keeping with information Wednesday from the US Division of Well being and Human Providers. The rising instances have led to decreased staffing at hospitals, from medical doctors to help workers.
President Biden introduced Thursday that the US has deployed 120 navy medical personnel to 6 further hard-hit states: Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, and New Mexico.
Since Thanksgiving, he stated, over 800 navy and different federal personnel have been deployed throughout 24 states, tribes, and territories, together with over 350 navy medical doctors, nurses, and medics. Greater than 14,000 Nationwide Guard members are additionally activated in 49 states. All of these deployments, he famous are absolutely paid for by the Covid aid bundle handed by Congress early final 12 months. He stated he has additionally directed FEMA to make sure there’s sufficient hospital mattress capability in each state.
Friday’s announcement is supposed to alleviate further personnel shortages. The usage of the Nationwide Guard shall be paid for by FEMA, as approved by Biden, by way of April 1.
Criswell joins White Home press secretary Jen Psaki on the briefing room podium at 11:45 a.m. ET.