3 National Guard teams sent to long-term care facilities; 4th alternate care site to open

The first three Minnesota National Guard skilled-nursing response teams have been sent to long-term care facilities facing severe staffing shortages.

Gov. Tim Walz’s office announced the deployment of the three teams on Monday. A total of 50 National Guard members will arrive in New Hope, Onamia and Fergus Falls on Monday and start providing care on Tuesday. About 400 Minnesota National Guard members have been trained as certified nursing assistants to help long-term care facilities across the state.

Additionally, the state’s fourth alternate care site is set to open this week to help hospitals dealing with capacity issues.

Benedictine Living Community-Regina in Hastings will be able to accept up to 17 patients from nearby hospitals, joining Cerenity Marian, Good Samaritan Society-Bethany in Brainerd, and Benedictine St. Gertrude’s in Shakopee in providing transitional care to patients.

Walz’s office also on Monday announced a new state initiative to recruit, train and deploy at least 1,000 new certified nursing assistants to long-term care facilities by the end of next month.