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300 Massachusetts National Guard Members Start Training For Non-Clinical Healthcare Jobs

BOSTON (CBS) – Hundreds of Massachusetts National Guard members will begin training on Monday as they are being deployed to take some of the burden off health care workers.

On Friday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported 10,040 new confirmed COVID cases, marking the third consecutive day that a record was set for most cases in a single day in the state.

Up to 300 National Guard members will train starting Monday to help 55 acute care hospitals and 12 ambulance service companies with non-clinical responsibilities.

Those troops will assist with non-emergency transports to and from hospitals, help move patients within the hospital, and bring patients to test rooms. They will also observe patients who may be a risk to themselves, act as security support, and help with food services.

The hope is the extra hands will free up doctors and nurses for patients who need them most.

Gov. Charlie Baker announced the deployment last week, saying hospital workers are dealing with "wildly challenging" circumstances.

Guard members are approved to support hospital operations for 90 days.

Baker said he is ready to deploy an additional 200 members if necessary.

Starting Monday, hospitals have also been ordered to postpone all non-emergency elective procedures.

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