Minnesota hospitals want some COVID pandemic response rules to become permanent


April 14, 2023

Richard Tsong-Taatarii, Star Tribune

Nurses worked Nov. 3 in an overcrowded emergency department at St. John's Hospital in Maplewood. Several patients were treated in the hallways while awaiting open rooms.

Minnesota hospitals are fighting to maintain some COVID-19 response measures that are scheduled to end next month when a federal public health emergency declaration is lifted.

Flexibility around the timing of patient transfers and the broad use of telemedicine helped hospitals endure COVID-19 surges over the past three years and could still help them as they struggle with staffing shortages and patient overcrowding, said Bob Hume, a spokesperson for the Minnesota Hospital Association.

"These things made sense in an emergency," Hume said. "We're saying we're still in one."



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