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National Guard helping at hospitals as COVID-19 surges

December 18, 2021 GMT

DOVER, N.H. (AP) — Hospitals in New Hampshire are receiving reinforcements from the National Guard as COVID-19 cases surge once again.

Guard members began arriving this week to assist hospitals across the state, Foster’s Daily Democrat reports.

The guard will be helping in non-clinical roles such as clerical, laboratory and food service settings so hospital staff can focus on treating patients.

Licensed paramedics provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency are also coming to help hospitals with clinical work, the newspaper reports. The state is also sending “strike teams” into nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities where staffing has been strained.

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The state Department of Health and Human Services reported 8 deaths and more than 1,300 new coronavirus cases on Friday. That includes more than 450 people hospitalized with the virus.

New Hampshire is averaging about 1,228 new cases of COVID-19 a day, down from about 1,409 daily cases two weeks ago, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

More than 90% of state residents have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine; more than 65% are fully inoculated.