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Governor announces federal staffing aid approved for UChicago Medicine-Ingalls Memorial Hospital

The winter COVID-19 surge has put health care staffs under tremendous pressure, but help for one south suburban hospital is on the way.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Tuesday the federal government has granted the state’s request for medical staffing assistance for UChicago Medicine-Ingalls Memorial Hospital.

Under the agreement, a 26-person National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) team, including physicians, pharmacists, nurses, paramedics and other specialists have been deployed to support UChicago Medicine-Ingalls doctors and nurses as they treat COVID-19 patients and other patients at the hospital in Harvey.

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The federal surge team will be available for 14 days to help reduce the strain on the region’s hospitals.

“Our health care workers continue to work tirelessly as we see the highest number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 than at any time during the pandemic,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “As we do everything we can to help reduce the burden on hospitals, please help lighten the load of hospital workers by getting vaccinated, boosted, and wearing a mask.”

“The record number of COVID-19 cases and breakthrough infections among fully vaccinated healthcare workers has been especially difficult on health systems across the country, including ours. UChicago Medicine’s frontline staff have faced incredible pressures throughout this pandemic and are rising to the challenge in a way that’s nothing short of heroic,” said Tom Jackiewicz, Chief Operating Officer, University of Chicago Medicine health system.

“This group of frontline care givers are helping to expand capacity to care in our community and provide relief to our internal teams who have been fighting the pandemic for nearly 24 months,” said UChicago Medicine Ingalls Vice President Patient Care Services & Chief Nursing Officer Corrin Steinhauer.

More than 600 people are being admitted to Illinois hospitals statewide each day for COVID-19, with a daily average of more than 7,100 patients in the hospital with COVID-19.

Individuals experiencing moderate COVID-19, such as cough, fatigue, headache or loss of smell/taste should call their health care provider to talk about treatment.

Individuals experiencing severe illness, such as chest pain, confusion or difficulty breathing, should seek immediate care from an emergency department.

State health officials urge residents to continue to practice preventive public health measures including getting vaccinated and boosted, wearing masks, avoiding large crowds and practicing physical distancing where possible.

To find a vaccination location near you, go to vaccines.gov.

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