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Providence Health brings in morgue trucks to Portland hospitals, National Guard personnel will assist at hospitals including Seaside

As the volume of COVID patients continues to put pressure on their health care services, Providence Health, which owns a network of hospitals in Oregon, including Providence Seaside Hospital, announced that it has brought in refrigerated morgue trucks to Providence Portland and Portland St. Vincent. National Guard personnel will also be assisting staff at their facilities statewide, including Seaside.

Providence Health said in a press release Friday that hospital morgues typically hold fewer than 10 deceased people, and local funeral homes are having trouble keeping up with deaths.

Providence also announced that the Oregon National Guard personnel will be assisting at various hospitals in their network, helping to greet and transport patients, deliver supplies and assist patient care teams as needed.

Providence Portland and Providence St. Vincent will have a total of 110 National Guard personnel assisting. Providence Seaside Hospital will have 13. More than 150 other guard personnel will be assisting at other Providence facilities state wide.

Providence also announced that it will be investing more than $220 million in its health care system to reward staff with bonuses, and provide incentives to recruit candidates, in an effort to address staffing shortages at their facilities.