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Military deploys 60 medical personnel to El Paso’s overflowing hospitals to help combat virus

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CNN file photo
Inside an El Paso hospital during a prior surge in those needing coronavirus care.

EL PASO, Texas -- The U.S. Department of Defense is deploying 60 medical personnel from the U.S. Air Force to El Paso facilities as hospitalizations rose to record levels yet again due to a huge ongoing spike in coronavirus infections.

First word of the deployment came Friday morning from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Officials said teams of 20 medical providers each would be assigned to three hospitals: The University Medical Center of El Paso, the Hospitals of Providence Transmountain Campus, and the Las Palmas Del Sol Medical Center.

The teams are expected to arrive at the hospitals this weekend, according to military leaders.

"I thank the Department of Defense for providing these resources to the El Paso community and for working alongside the Lone Star State to mitigate this virus," Abbott said in a statement.

The announcement came after El Paso health officials indicated earlier Friday that Covid-19 hospitalizations had reached an all time-high of 1,049 patients, with 311 of those occupying intensive care units.

The Pentagon said Army Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson of the U.S. Northern Command’s Joint Force Land Component Command is overseeing the El Paso medical deployments.

"We will work to mitigate this virus and care for El Pasoans,” she said in a statement.

Richardson indicated the military medical providers were coming from Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas; Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi; and Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.

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Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.

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