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COVID-19 response teams from Intermountain to head to New York

File photo: KSL TV

SALT LAKE CITY — Intermountain Healthcare plans to send two COVID-19 response teams to New York City to assist hospitals in the area dealing with severe staffing shortages.

In exchange, two New York-based healthcare systems, New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Northwell Health, plan to return the favor at a future point, if and when Utah needs the help. Experts say that surge is likely to hit Utah in May or June, according to Intermountain.

The Utah-based Intermountain teams, with 50 caregivers each, will deploy next week. In a statement, Intermountain said its COVID-19 response teams include doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, respiratory therapists and others who volunteered for the mission.

“I’m incredibly proud that so many of our caregivers want to help others in need, and we have the capacity right now to share our staff with others in the middle of their COVID-19 surge,” said Dr. Paul Krakovitz, chief medical officer at Intermountain for specialty based care, in a statement.

“Not only will they provide care for patients in New York, they will bring back knowledge and experience to share with their Utah colleagues that will help us serve Utah patients,” he continued.

The first team flies out of Salt Lake International on Tuesday, April 14, 2020.

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

State of Utah:

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States