Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Tuesday that the federal government will provide medical staffing assistance to University of Chicago Medicine’s Ingalls Memorial Hospital in suburban Harvey in an effort to reduce the strain on nurses and doctors as they care for an increasing number of patients ill with coronavirus.
According to the press release, a 26-person National Disaster Medical System team will be deployed to the hospital for up to 14 days.
“I’m grateful to our federal partners for bringing in more skilled support staff to Illinois hospitals hit hard by COVID-19,” Pritzker said in a statement. “This latest 26-person team will provide vital support to medical workers at UChicago Medicine Ingalls, allowing them to continue providing lifesaving care for all patients.”
According to the release, more than 600 new hospital admissions for COVID are being reported each day, and although overall hospitalizations are beginning to decrease amid a surge in cases caused by the omicron variant, state and federal officials are continuing to take steps to ease the burden on hard-hit hospitals.
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“Our health care workers continue to work tirelessly as we see the highest number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 than at any time during the pandemic,” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement.
Tom Jackiewicz, COO of the University of Chicago Medicine health system, said that record numbers of COVID cases, along with breakthrough infections of hospital staff, have put a huge strain on hospitals in the area.
“While we’ve worked internally to support our teams by redeploying staff and hiring additional workers, we’re incredibly grateful to get this much-needed assistance from state and federal teams,” he said in a statement. “This help is a welcome relief to our caregivers and support staff who’ve been working tirelessly for nearly two years to provide care for our patients and this community.”