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National Guard training to help with COVID-19 care

Healthcare workers tend to a patient
Healthcare workers tend to a patient(wsaw)
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 4:40 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Two hundred members of the National Guard are expected to be trained as Certified Nursing Assistants and deployed to skilled nursing facilities throughout Wisconsin by the end of February.

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is making the strain on the health care field worse, keeping some care providers home due to the level of contagion.  Others are leaving the field because of the prolonged stress and overwork of the last two years.

With infections and hospitalizations reaching record levels again, the Guard members will provide some relief.

“The focus of the work of the National Guard in creating additional capacity in long-term care settings will allow hospitals to open beds and move people into post-acute settings,” said Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake.

The accelerated training program consists of 16 hours of online training followed by practical instruction at Madison College.

Fifty National Guard CNAs are already deployed.   They are stationed in Wisconsin Dells, at the Departments of Veterans Affairs in Union Grove and King, Hillview Health Clinic in La Crosse, the Bay at St. Anne in Milwaukee and Mineral Point Health in Mineral.

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