Texas works to deploy 2,500+ out-of-state medical personnel to help with COVID-19 surge

State & Regional

A hospital bed (Nexstar, file).

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Department of State Health Services is working to bring in more than 2,500 medical personnel to help hospitals strained by an increasing number of COVID-19 patients.

That’s according to a Wednesday announcement from Gov. Greg Abbott’s office. The office said this comes after an order from Abbott last week which authorized DSHS to coordinate staffing for Texas hospitals using out-of-state personnel.

DSHS said on Wednesday it will resume filling requests for additional staff to handle the surge in cases.

“The priority is to recruit staff from out-of-state, and DSHS has directed the agencies not to utilize staff from other Texas health care facilities,” the agency said in a press release.

Even so, Texas DSHS urges facilities to continue working within their area to meet staffing needs locally when possible. Facilities in need of more staff members can submit a State of Texas Assistance Request.

The first deployment of personnel will be funded entirely by the state through Sept. 30, the governor’s office said. However, DSHS said should local governments or individual facilities need extended deployments, those entities may have to share the cost.

“The State of Texas is taking action to ensure that our hospitals are properly staffed and supported in the fight against COVID-19,” said Abbott in a press release Wednesday.

Abbott went on to say Texans can help bring down case numbers by getting vaccinated. He called the vaccine “our best defense against the virus.”

DSHS reiterated that facilities and local governments should be mindful of their requests for resources, because there is limited staff available, and right now, all areas in the state need help.

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