By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming will use federal coronavirus relief funds to bring additional medical personnel to the state to help hospitals deal with steep increases in patient loads caused by the virus, Gov. Mark Gordon announced Wednesday.
Gordon said he will use $10 million from the federal funds to bring medical personnel to the state for temporary assignment to hospitals.
“This funding will help ease the strain on our hospitals and healthcare workers, who have been working tirelessly to provide care to increasing numbers of COVID-19 patients,” he said in a news release. “As hospitals around the region face the same issues, our hospitals cannot plan on transferring patients out of state. I want to ensure Wyoming maintains its ability to provide our residents access to the treatments and care they need.”
According to Wyoming Health Department figures, as of Tuesday, 178 people infected with the coronavirus were hospitalized in the state.
In his news release, Gordon noted that one month ago, the number stood at 56.
Eric Boley, president of the Wyoming Hospital Association, said the state’s hospital workers appreciate the assistance.
“Medical staff across the state are strained and exhausted,” he said. “There is an immediate need to bring in additional help to ease the burden shouldered by our healthcare professionals. This move by the governor is important and is giving us critical resources allowing us to find and retain medical personnel to support our hospitals in their fight against COVID.”
The Hospital Association will work with the state’s hospitals to determine where staff shortages are occurring, Gordon’s office said in the news release.