The U.S. Department of Defense is deploying a military medical team to the San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington to help care for COVID-19 patients as New Mexico continues to grapple with a high number of hospitalizations and a shortage of health care workers.

The 20-person team from the U.S. Navy is scheduled to begin Dec. 5.

“As COVID-19 hospitalization rates continue to shift across the country, decreasing in certain areas while increasing in others, we unfortunately find new communities and healthcare facilities overburdened and in need of federal, military assistance,” Lt. Gen. John R. Evans Jr., commander of U.S. Army North, said Monday in a statement.

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