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Navy personnel arrives in Indianapolis to assist with COVID surge

The military doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists will be integrated into medical units in "areas of greatest need."

INDIANAPOLIS — Amid surging hospitalizations, a team of 20 U.S. Navy personnel began arriving in Indianapolis this week to support local doctors and nurses at IU Health Methodist Hospital.

The military doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists will serve 30-day deployments and be integrated into medical units in “areas of greatest need” within the hospital, according to IU Health in a statement Tuesday.

"IU Health leadership continues to meet with U.S. military leadership to navigate the operations plan and ensure optimal utilization of this support team. IU Health is grateful for this support and will share more information as it becomes available," a spokesperson said in a statement.

The Department of Defense has deployed military medical teams to hospitals in Wisconsin, Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana and New Mexico as well.

The addition of Indiana came the same day IU Health pulmonologist Dr. Gabriel Bosslet appeared on MSNBC, describing the hospitalizations as "dire."

"I'm more scared now than I was even when I had no idea what was going to happen when the original virus was coming," Bosslet told host Rachel Maddow. "Because we are starting now with hospitalization rates that are literally higher than they've ever been in the state of Indiana … so if omicron comes through and, even if it's less severe than the Delta strain, just the sheer number of people that it sounds like are going to be infected could very, very easily overwhelm us very, very quickly. We have no slack in the system."

MORE: Hospitals get more help as omicron cases rise