State officials say that Minnesota is set to open an alternative care facility at Good Samaritan Society-Bethany in Brainerd to relieve stress on central and northern Minnesota hospitals.

Gov. Tim Walz says that 14 Minnesota National Guard members and nine federal nurses are set to staff the new care center. Officials say the facility will be able to take on 34 patients transferred from area hospitals as they recover from surgery or other emergency care.

It will be the second alternative care facility in the state.

Normally, patients not yet ready to return home after medical treatment would move to long-term care facilities. However, nursing homes and assisted living centers are facing staff shortages that have prevented them from bringing in new patients or residents at this time.