Jefferson City Today, Governor Mike Parson announced a specialized medical team of U.S. military personnel, which includes doctors and nurses, is being deployed to the St. Louis region to support hospital staff strained by COVID-19. The team is expected to be in place at BJC Christian Hospital next week.
“We’re pleased that in response to the State of Missouri’s request through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Navy will be deploying a 40-person team of military medical personnel,” Governor Parson said. “This team will help support our dedicated local medical professionals who work hard each day to care for Missourians. The best way Missourians can help aid our hospitals and health care workers is by considering vaccination to protect themselves and their families.”
The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), through a mission assignment with FEMA, coordinated the deployment of the 40-member U.S. Navy team following a request from the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force. Previously, SEMA assisted with the deployment of a 17-member Health Care Task Force with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to support staff at Research Medical Center in Kansas City. That team has been supporting the hospital since January 7 by assisting with emergency department decompression and was granted an extension to continue providing care through February 4.
FEMA is also providing Direct Federal Assistance as requested by SEMA through two AmeriCorps teams to help at community testing sites and other local COVID-19 support activities. AmeriCorps St. Louis is supporting testing in St Charles, St. Louis, and Springfield. An AmeriCorps team out of the Southwest Region is supporting testing sites in the Kansas City area.
The Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services is granting variance requests for extending waivers of rules under 19 CSR 30-21 authorized during the State of Emergency that allow regulatory flexibility for expanded bed capacity to Missouri hospitals and health care partners experiencing COVID-19 strain.