National Guard completes COVID-19 staffing support mission

The Minnesota National Guard has completed its COVID-19 staffing support mission.

The Minnesota Department of Health confirmed the National Guard completed its efforts on Tuesday.

Altogether, the Guard supported 49 long-term care and assisted living facilities across Minnesota, with 542 guardsmen helping in various roles during the mission, MDH says.

Additionally, five hospital decompression and alternate care sites received support from 47 National Guard members.

Gov. Tim Walz ordered the Guard to help facilities facing severe staffing shortages back in November, which required teams to quickly get trained as certified nursing assistants. The first teams were deployed the following month. That short-term staffing fix came during the governor’s push to train 1,000 new certified nursing assistants by using federal funding to cover their education expenses.