MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A current surge of COVID-19 cases throughout Minnesota is affecting staffing levels at many nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.

That’s forcing the state to send the National Guard to help out in some homes, while the administration is also asking state employees to consider volunteering in facilities with critical staff shortages.

The Star Tribune reports Wednesday that Minnesota Department of Health data shows 90% of the state’s nursing homes and 58% of assisted-living facilities have active outbreaks.

Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said Tuesday that 47 long-term care facilities are in “a crisis staffing situation” and are receiving active support from the state, including help from federal health nurses.

Gov. Tim Walz’s administration is also taking the unusual step of e-mailing all state employees and asking them to consider volunteering for two-week stints in long-term care facilities, particularly in greater Minnesota.

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