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Health care workers from Medical Disaster System arrive at Maine Medical Center

Published: Dec. 11, 2021 at 3:09 PM EST
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PORTLAND, Maine (WABI) -A team of experts from the National Disaster Medical System arrived Saturday at Maine Medical Center to help the hospital manage the onslaught of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

It comes at the end of a week of record-breaking cases each day, with the seven-day cases average reported each day at an all-time high of 982.1 cases.

At times in recent weeks, Maine Medical Center has had no critical care beds available for either COVID-19 or non-COVID-19 patients.

MMC’s Emergency Department has often been on ‘diversion’ status, taking in only the most critical cases.

For the week starting Dec. 6, the hospital had closed twelve operating rooms in order to free up health care staff and resources to care for other care teams.

The fifteen members of the group include physicians, advanced health care workers, nurses and paramedics, as well as an administrative staff specializing in safety and logistics support.

Officials with Maine Medical Center say that for the next two weeks, the team will be working on a new non-COVID-19 acute care unit, allowing administrators to provide 11 more beds for adult patients.

The team was sent at Gov. Janet Mills’ request, in collaboration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

If more help is still needed after their initial tw0-week assignment, Governor Mills may make another request with U.S. DHHS officials.

Maine Medical Center’s announcement of the National Disaster Medical System team’s arrival included a plea for residents to get vaccinated and get booster shots.

“Last week, 70% of patients hospitalized with COID-19 across the MaineHealth system, of which MMC is a part, were unvaccinated,” the statement said.

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