Gov. Gordon Sends Emergency Support to Wyoming Hospitals
Gov. Mark Gordon has authorized a three-pronged approach to provide emergency support to Wyoming medical facilities deluged by COVID-19 cases, according to a news release.
The state will receive resources from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Wyoming National Guard, and contracted travelling medical staff funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Those funds were directed to the Wyoming Hospital Association.
Wyoming has had to call upon resources from outside the state to deal with the recent surge in hospitalizations to record levels. As of Tuesday, there were 204 people hospitalized with COVID-19, and 65 of those were at the Wyoming Medical Center.
Several Wyoming hospitals have expanded capacity to meet the influx of COVID-19 patients, and several hospitals are at capacity for intensive care unit beds.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Disaster Medical System will deploy two Health and Medical Task Force teams to the Campbell County Memorial Hospital in Gillette and the Cheyenne Regional Medical Center.
Each 15-member team includes physicians and nurses who will support those hospitals for 14 days.
The communities were selected based on where the immediate need was greatest.
The Wyoming National Guard will assist by delivering meals and other activities to relieve staff. There will be 10 guard members assigned to the Cheyenne Regional Medical Center for 30 days unless extended upon request. The assistance helps hospitals focus their medical resources on tasks where they can have the most impact.
“Our soldiers and airmen are always ready to aid our neighbors and affected communities and partner with other agencies," Wyoming National Guard adjutant general Maj. Gen. Greg Porter said.
Traveling medical staff members have begun to arrive in Wyoming to assist with the state’s COVD-19 response. Gordon allocated $10 million in CARES Act funding to the Wyoming Hospital Association to coordinate this previously announced effort. As many as 50 additional personnel are expected to be deployed throughout the state by the end of the week.
"This much-needed assistance came together with the coordination of several agencies," Wyoming Office of Homeland Security Director Lynn Budd said.
The Wyoming Department of Health is in contact with hospitals to discuss hospital capacity and surge plans.
“Consistently we have been informed by hospitals that availability of medical personnel, specifically nurses, is their largest concern,” said Dirk Dijkstal, the department's Health Readiness and Response Section chief.
READ MORE: Here are 10 ways to help others who are struggling right now