MONROEVILLE, Ala. (WALA) – An Alabama National Guard medical team is headed to Monroe County Hospital, the state’s top doctor said Friday.

Alabama state Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris told reporters at his weekly briefing that the Guard would be augmenting staff at three rural hospitals hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to Monroeville, the Guard will assist facilities in Troy and Demopolis.

“We are using small teams at this point and trying to be very deliberate about plugging them into the places where they can best fit in and where we need them the most,” Harris said. “So we’re happy to say that they are going to be going into these, these three rural hospitals in the next couple of days.”

Kathy Cave, the Intensive Care Unit manager at Monroe County Hospital, told FOX10 News that the team will consist of a nurse and four paramedics. She said they are scheduled for orientation on Sept. 30 and are expected to start their first shift on Oct. 4. She said she expects them to work for 30 days initially and then possibly be extended.

Cave said the staffing boost is welcome because the hospital is short-handed.

“We’ve had many to leave and go to other facilities,” she said.

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