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Active-duty U.S. Air Force doctors, nurses and other medical providers are being sent to work in California hospitals to assist with a steep rise in coronavirus cases that has strained some healthcare systems across the state.

The 100 healthcare professionals began work Friday in five hospitals experiencing severe staff shortages after a request for aid by the state. An additional 60 providers will be deployed in the coming week, a military spokesman said.

The hospitals being served are Adventist Health Lodi Memorial in Lodi, Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, Dameron Hospital in Stockton, Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage and Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Visalia, the spokesman said.

The move comes as some officials have described hospital staffing — not bed capacity — as the chief stumbling block when it comes to scaling up operations to accommodate more patients.

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