National Guard asked to help staff Oregon State Hospital

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Significant staffing shortages at the Oregon State Hospital prompted health officials to call for the National Guard’s assistance at the psychiatric facility this week.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reports the Oregon Health Authority, which oversees the state’s hospital, requested 30 nurses from the National Guard.

The governor’s office has not reached a decision on whether to fill that request.

Officials say the hospital, which employs 1,800 people and has more than 600 patients, is full and temporarily stopped new admissions.

The hospital’s staffing crisis has persisted on and off throughout the pandemic.

But the number of hospital staff out on coronavirus-related leave has increased dramatically since February.

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