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South Carolina National Guard to help hospitals due to coronavirus surge

Three hospitals on the coast and a medical facility in Newberry County are among those receiving assistance from the SC National Guard.
Credit: Production Perig - stock.adobe.com

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina National Guard has been asked to help some hospitals and medical facilities in the Palmetto State due to the rise in the coronavirus.

Capt. Jennifer Donnelly; a spokesperson with the South Carolina National Guard, confirmed the information to News19. 

"We have been asked to assist with vaccination and patient care for three hospitals on the coast and also in Prosperity," Donnelly said.

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Donnelly went on to say that the guard members won't be able to deploy to those medical facilities until Tuesday. She said the delay stems from South Carolina sending 150 members to Louisiana to help with Hurricane Ida cleanup. The medical personnel must clear their fellow guard members before they head to Louisiana.

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The request, said Donnelly, was for 13 guard members to help. She added that the organization hopes to send between 12 and 14.   

The request for National Guard members comes as many hospitals across South Carolina move toward - or even reach - capacity as COVID cases rise across the state.

Several local hospitals have since implemented new policies to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 within their facilities - many of them forced to keep visitors to a minimum and waiting rooms reserved specifically for patients.

Data from the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) as current as Wednesday shows more than 53,500 confirmed positive cases in the last two weeks.