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National Guard to provide medical assistance to Dignity Health hospitals

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Posted at 2:11 PM, Aug 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-07 17:11:35-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The California National Guard is sending clinical personnel to Dignity Health Bakersfield hospitals as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in Kern County.

A group of nurses and certified nursing assistants arrived Friday to provide support to staff at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital and Mercy Hospital Southwest. The response for assistance by the California National Guard comes after local hospitals have experienced a dramatic surge of coronavirus hospitalizations in the past several weeks and have made requests for aid to the State.

“This is much needed support for our hospitals’ clinical staff as we continue to see an influx of sicker patients in need of specialized, critical care in our community,” said Terri Church, Division Chief Nurse Executive for Dignity Health Central California which includes Mercy and Memorial Hospitals. “This assistance will make a real difference for our teams who have been working around the clock fighting against the virus.”

The additional staff will provide assistance and support in the hospitals’ emergency room and telemetry and COVID-19 units where the majority of coronavirus patients are being treated.

Additional support for critical care nurses, respiratory therapists, and other clinical technicians has been requested through the California Department of Public Health and the California Emergency Services Agency.