BRADENTON, Fla. - At least 1,000 state-contracted medical personnel, including nurses, will be heading to some of Florida's hardest-hit areas to help hospitals keep up with the growing need for patient care, according to Governor DeSantis.
"A lot of it is just making sure there is enough personnel to do all this. COVID is very labor-intensive," DeSantis said.
As the governor explained, hospitals have had to completely change the way they operate and that takes extra help. Whether a patient enters the ER for a broken leg or because of chest pains, they still have to be tested. If they test positive while their case may not be severe enough to require hospitalization their initial reason for visiting could and that means doctors and nurses have to follow the same protocol to that of a COVID-19 patient.
"There's a lot of procedures that go into place in terms of the isolation. They have a lot of personnel who are involved in testing people both for people who come into their hospitals and people who participating in some of these drive-through or walk-up test sites so the personnel is something that is very, very significant," DeSantis said.
At a news conference Saturday afternoon in Bradenton, the Governor announced the state is now sending in 1,000 nurses to help. They'll be contracted employees through the state and assisting in various roles. Some will be assigned to hospitals others will go to long-term care facilities and a select few may be chosen to work at testing sites.
At the latest Pinellas County EPG meeting, officials spoke up about need and said they're working together to try and fill it.
"They are currently being strained. They have plans in place. They have search plans in place in order to handle increased capacity. A lot of that has to do with staffing and they are currently in the process of requesting resources," County Administrator Barry Burton said.
It's still unclear about how many of those 1,000 nurses will be heading to the Bay Area.