Skip to main content

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has activated the National Guard for response teams to provide support to long-term care facilities that are experiencing staffing shortages. 

The governor is also proposing providing $50 million in federal funding to long-term care facilities to help with hiring and staff retention, a news release says. 

“Our long-term care facilities are facing an all-hands-on-deck moment, and that’s why we are taking unprecedented action to support skilled nursing workers, residents, and patients,” Gov. Walz said in Monday's news release. "Financial support will help our skilled nursing facilities hire and retain talented staff to care for patients, and the Minnesota National Guard is preparing to fill any staffing gaps."

"I am deeply thankful to the skilled nursing personnel who work so hard to care for so many Minnesotans every day,"O Walz added. "I pledge to do whatever it takes to help Minnesota’s long-term care community get through this challenging time.”

To start, 400 Minnesota National Guard members will train as certified nursing assistants and temporary nursing aides over the next seven days. They'll then serve as skilled-nursing "response teams" to support long-term care facilities that are short-staffed. 

Meanwhile, National Guard members continue to be deployed at the state's alternative care sites in Brainerd, St. Paul and Shakopee. Those sites provide transitional care to people who no longer need to be hospitalized, allowing hospitals to focus on those sick with COVID-19 and those needing emergency support. 

Last week, Walz announced emergency federal medical teams were coming to Minnesota to support hospitals and relieve doctors and nurses as hospitals fill up amid the surge in COVID-19 cases in Minnesota. 

In addition, Walz says he'll use $50 million in federal American Rescue Plan money for immediate emergency grants to long-term care facilities for employee hiring and retention. 

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

The Legislative COVID-19 Response Commission is reviewing the governor's request, and if it gets approved the Minnesota Department of Human Services will distribute the grants in December. 

“This latest COVID-19 surge is a challenge for everyone, and it is especially difficult for long-term care providers who have been on the front lines of this pandemic for nearly two years,” MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm said in a statement. “These actions provide vital support for this workforce at a time of need. We ask all Minnesotans to recognize that they have a role to play here as well. They can help reduce the pressure on our health care and long-term care workers by doing their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 through vaccination, masking, and other prevention measures.”

Walz says the state's nursing facilities have received a variety of state and federal aid amid the pandemic, including $120 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness and $180 million in federal provider relief funds. 

Next Up


3rd federal medical team to join COVID-19 fight in Minnesota

There are more than 1,500 people with COVID-19 admitted to Minnesota hospitals.

hospital, emergency room

Driver killed after other motorist crosses into opposite lane

The head-on crash occurred early Thursday, just north of the Twin Cities.

shot clock

MSHSL approves shot clock for Minnesota varsity basketball

Shot clocks will be required at all varsity games beginning in 2023-24.

Redmons Popcorn Colbert screengrab

Popcorn shop featured on 'The Late Show' has to close 2 days later

A county inspection after the national TV appearance found code violations.

covid, vaccine

Minnesotan infected with omicron was vaccinated, had booster shot

The Hennepin County man received his booster shot in early November.

Timothy William Tuit

2 people plead guilty in fatal Dakota County home invasion

Two others charged in the incident will go to trial next year.

south lake minnetonka police department

25-year-old arrested after multi-city police chase in western suburbs

Police were called for a welfare check but learned it was a domestic violence incident.

Screen Shot 2021-12-02 at 8.34.54 AM

After getting COVID, Harrison Smith still not considering vaccine

The Vikings safety says he doesn't plan on getting vaccinated.


long term care elderly

Indoor visitor ban at long-term care facilities lifted in MN

Meanwhile, Gov. Tim Walz has extended the peacetime emergency.

long term care elderly

Visitors welcome: Minnesota eases visitation rules at long-term care facilities

The new guidance only restricts visitors for residents in certain situations.

long term care elderly

MN eases restrictions, allowing some inside visits at long-term care facilities

Family and others deemed as essential caregivers can now visit residents of long-term care facilities indoors.

long term care elderly

Coronavirus: New guidance released for visiting long-term care homes

Visits to congregate care facilities have been strictly limited during the COVID-19 outbreak.

long term care elderly

Minnesota adjusts guidelines for long-term care residents, visitors

For the first time in nearly a year, residents won't have to quarantine if they are vaccinated and leave their facility.

long term care elderly

Coronavirus: Gov. Walz announces 'battle plan' to reduce long-term care deaths

More than 80 percent of Minnesota's COVID-19 deaths have been in long-term care facility.

long term care elderly

Care facilities with COVID-19 outbreaks soon to be identified in MN

The media age of the 18 people who have died from COVID-19 in Minnesota is 83.

gov. tim walz

Walz touts progress MN has made fighting COVID-19 at long-term care facilities

“We’ve made progress, but there’s still more work to do," Gov. Tim Walz said.