Kelly, Sinema Call For Authorization of Arizona National Guard to Assist Arizona Hospitals Experiencing Staffing Shortages due to Omicron Variant

Following FEMA’s announcement it will fund costs of National Guard’s response to COVID, Senators’ letter urges Governor Ducey to allow Arizona National Guard to assist Arizona hospitals with wraparound services during staffing shortages

WASHINGTON – Arizona Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema wrote Arizona Governor Doug Ducey asking him to authorize the Arizona National Guard to provide wraparound assistance to Arizona hospitals facing staffing shortages during the Omicron variant surge. Currently, Arizona hospitals are experiencing staffing shortages and could use the Arizona National Guard’s help sustaining critical hospital operations including patient transport, cleaning and sanitation, and food services.

“Hospital systems, health care facilities, and those caring for Arizona’s most vulnerable populations are suffering from severe staffing shortages. This endangers their ability to care for Arizonans, worsening people’s health outcomes, increasing costs, and putting lives and livelihoods at risk. We ask that Arizona take full advantage of all available resources, including the 100 percent federal reimbursement provided through April 1, 2022 for National Guard activities in response to COVID-19,” wrote the Senators.

FEMA recently announced it will fund 100% of the costs for National Guard’s activation in response to the Coronavirus and it has authorized National Guard personnel to provide wraparound services for hospitals experiencing staffing shortages, but National Guard activities remain under the command of state governors. Wraparound services can include activities such as transport, biomedical waste removal, linen and laundry services, food preparation and delivery, perimeter fencing, professional cleaning, contracted security services, and other critical services necessary to keep health care facilities operating safely and securely. Kelly and Sinema called on Ducey to allow Arizona National Guard to step in and assist hospitals in need and underscored their commitment to help the state’s pandemic efforts.

Click HERE to read the Senators’ letter.