Medical Disaster System health workers arrive at Maine Medical Center


PORTLAND, Maine (WABI) – A team of experts from the National Disaster Medical System arrived at Maine Medical Center on Saturday to help the hospital manage the onslaught of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

It comes to the end of a week of record-breaking cases each day, with the seven-day average reported each day at an all-time high of 982.1 cases.

In the past few weeks, there have been intermittent no intensive care beds available for COVID-19 or non-COVID-19 patients at Maine Medical Center.

The MMC emergency department often had a “diversion” status and only accepted the most critical cases.

For the week beginning December 6, the hospital closed twelve operating theaters to free up medical staff and resources to care for other care teams.

The group’s fifteen members include doctors, healthcare professionals, nurses and paramedics, and administrative staff specializing in security and logistics support.

Maine Medical Center officials say the team will be working on a new non-COVID-19 acute ward over the next two weeks that will allow administrators to provide 11 more beds for adult patients.

The team was deployed at the request of Governor Janet Mills in collaboration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Department of Health.

If more help is needed after their initial two-week assignment, Governor Mills can file another application with US DHHS officials.

The Maine Medical Center’s announcement of the arrival of the National Disaster Medical System team included a request for residents to get vaccinated and a booster vaccination.

“Last week, 70% of patients admitted to hospital with COID-19 across the MaineHealth system, which includes MMC, were unvaccinated,” the statement said.

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