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A third federal medical team will be coming to Minnesota to help support exhausted and overwhelmed hospital workers who continue to treat more than 1,500 COVID-19 patients. 

Gov. Tim Walz announced Thursday that a team of 14 doctors, nurses and hospital staff from the Department of Health and Human Services will help treat COVID-19 inpatients at M Health Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina. 

The team will arrive Friday and stay for at least two weeks. 

Two teams of 22 medical staff from the Department of Defense arrived about two weeks ago and are assisting at St. Cloud Hospital and Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. 

“Minnesota’s frontline health care workers continue to tirelessly treat patients sick with COVID-19. I am so grateful for their dedication, and I want to thank the Biden Administration for providing emergency staffing support to help the great doctors and nurses at M Heath Fairview Southdale,” Walz said in a release. 

“The last thing Minnesota hospitals need right now is more COVID-19 patients – and the last thing any Minnesotan should want is to be hospitalized with this dire disease.”

Through Dec. 1, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota was 1,549, including 345 people in intensive care. 

There are currently only 24 staffed adult ICU beds and 8 pediatric ICU beds available in the entire state. Further stressing the system is the fact that only 13 non-ICU pediatric beds are available in Minnesota. 

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"There are very, very few teams available to be deployed across the whole nation," Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said Nov. 17, noting at the time that more Minnesota hospitals need help but getting it to them requires more teams becoming available. 

Malcolm said the state has submitted applications for additional help from the federal government.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota National Guard is also assisting at alternative care sites in St. Paul, Brainerd and Shakopee, where people infected with COVID-19 can receive transitional care after being hospitalized and before going home. 

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