Guard may help staffing shortages at New Mexico schools

New Mexico’s governor said Thursday she’s considering seeking help from the National Guard to address COVID-19 staffing shortages at public schools, a move that could mark a first in the nation

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- New Mexico’s governor said Thursday she’s considering seeking help from the National Guard to address COVID-19 staffing shortages at public schools, a move that could mark a first in the nation.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said the additional help would ensure that students can remain in the classroom.

She said the state has been in discussions with the Santa Fe school district, which was forced to plan for remote learning next week.

Lujan Grisham promised to release more details soon.

The National Guard has been used in other ways during the pandemic, including driving school buses.

President Joe Biden announced Thursday that starting next week, 1,000 military medical personnel will begin deploying across the country to help overwhelmed medical facilities ease staff shortages due to the highly transmissible omicron variant.

Lujan Grisham confirmed that one of the teams will be stationed at University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque.

She said the additional resources will “absolutely help“ given that the hospital is the state’s only top level trauma facility and often takes in many of the most complicated cases.

“With a Level I trauma, you’ve got to stabilize personnel resources there,“ Lujan Grisham said, noting that the hospital already has brought in hundreds of traveling nurses to help address the shortage.