Queen of the Valley hospital in West Covina welcomes military medical team to help during COVID pandemic

WEST COVINA, Calif. (KABC) — A military medical team has arrived in Southern California to help lessen the load for hospital workers dealing with the latest COVID-19 surge.

Queen of the Valley hospital in West Covina has welcomed a military medical team to help alleviate the stress and staff shortages.

“Our specific role is to decompress the strain that’s been on the system in general,” U.S. Air Force Dr. Ramsey Gardner said. “So what that ends up looking like is, any patient that is in need of care, we’re here for that. We’re not just seeing COVID patients, we’re seeing patients that we’d normally see in a hospital admission.”

The team of 15 Air Force and Army service members includes a doctor, a physician’s assistant, nurses and an administrator.

“I think it’ll help us tremendously,” Queen of the Valley Hospital Dr. Gurjeet Kalkat said. “We have suffered with the rest of the nation with staffing shortage. Their team coming up is really going to decompress our system during the surge.”

This comes as California decides to lift its indoor mask mandate next week. Though, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to extend the mask mandate locally for indoor activities.

The military medical team’s deployment is set for 30 days or four weeks. FEMA and the state will decide if the team would stay longer.

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