Sixty U.S. Air Force nurses are heading to the state to assist with COVID-19, Gov. Doug Burgum announced Thursday.

In a press release, Burgum said FEMA granted the state’s request for COVID-19 assistance.

The nurses, who are expected to start work at the hospitals next week, will split up into multiple specialty teams to support at least six hospitals in four cities: Trinity Hospital in Minot, CHI St. Alexius Health in Bismarck, Sanford Medical Center in Bismarck, Essential Health in Fargo, Sanford Medical Center in Fargo and Altru Health System in Grand Forks.

Burgum says the medical personnel comes from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia; Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland and JBSA-Randolph, Texas; Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi; Joint Base Andrews, Maryland; and elsewhere. 

The North Dakota Department of Health has also contracted with a temporary staffing agency to provide an additional 60 nursing staff for hospitals and nursing homes.

Those nurses will begin arriving as early as this weekend.

The response is funded by the CARES Act.