Members of the Maine National Guard arrive for orientation in an empty wing at Central Maine Medical Center, Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021, in Lewiston, Maine. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Sixteen facilities across the state will receive additional aid from the National Guard, following Gov. Janet Mills’ announcement on Tuesday that another 169 members would be deployed amidst a surge in COVID-19 cases.

On Friday, the number of Mainers hospitalized with the coronavirus was at 424, a near-record number, and hospitals across the state are struggling to provide care as the omicron variant keeps case counts high across the state. The state hit a record number with 436 Mainers hospitalized on Thursday.

Maine Medical Center in Portland will receive the most personnel, with 30 Guard members arriving by Jan. 20 to provide support and allow clinical staff to focus on patient care.

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor will receive 16 members.

Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford and St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston — which recently started allowing COVID-positive health care staff to return to work if they were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms — will both receive 12 Guard members each.

The additional Guard members will join the 202 personnel who were deployed in late 2021 to assist health care staff.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has also approved Mills’ request for aid, and 7 federally-contracted nurses and pharmacists arrived at facilities across the state earlier this week. Health care workers with FEMA will stay in Maine until Jan. 27.

Three of those workers are currently stationed  at MaineHealth,  while four are serving at Central Maine Medical Center.

Bolster Heights Residential Care in Auburn, Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, LincolnHealth at the Miles Campus in Damariscotta, the Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick, Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport, the Rumford Community Home, Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford, Spring Harbor Hospital in Westbrook, Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway, Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast, the main campus of York Hospital and the York Walk-In Care facility will also receive Guard members by Jan. 20.

On Friday, 1,411 COVID-19 cases were reported in Maine, along with 18 more deaths. The statewide death toll now stands at 1,644, and there are approximately 12,762 active cases in Maine.

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.