NEWS | April 23, 2020

W.Va. Guard sustaining nursing home testing, feeding and innovation missions for COVID-19 response

By Maj. Holli Nelson West Virginia National Guard Public Affairs

Today, the West Virginia National Guard’s (WVNG) Task Force CRE and Task Force Medical conducted COVID-19 testing at four state hospitals for approximately 500 patients and staff. One additional state hospital will undergo testing tomorrow.


This marks seven facilities to undergo testing by the WVNG this week and to date, this team has tested 1,271 people, not including today’s testing, as a part of their response mission.


In addition to conducting COVID-19 testing for nursing homes, Task Force CRE continues their missions of providing personal protective equipment (PPE) wear training to long-term care facilities and plan to visit six locations today. Members are also providing assistance for COVID-19 drive through testing lanes, sanitization of facilities, and N95 mask fit testing. To date, this team has trained 646 stores, 2,924 personnel and 56 medical or long-term care facilities.


Since beginning operations in support of the state’s COVID-19 response 41 days ago, the WVNG has completed 621 missions through our four lines of effort of operationalizing of the event, stabilizing the population, providing logistical movement of critical supplies and conducting data analysis to combat the virus. Currently, 704 members of the WVNG are on duty serving the citizens of the State of West Virginia.


“On behalf of Governor Justice, we want to extend our thanks to the many businesses in West Virginia who have donated items to assist in the state’s response to COVID-19, which have included masks, hand sanitizer, material, food, face shields and more,” said Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, adjutant general of the WVNG.


In-kind donations have been received from the following business/organizations: Kentucky Fried Chicken in Sutton; Sheetz in Poca; Dow Chemical; Dominion Energy; ND Paper; JoAnn’s Fabric; Toyota Manufacturing; Total Distribution; United Hospital; and City Neon.



West Virginia Guard personnel assisting in sanitization lanes for first responder and public transport vehicles have sanitized 114 vehicles in two locations – Huntington and Charleston – which includes ambulances, police vehicles and public transport buses.


Task Force Sustainment, our team dedicated to receiving and moving critical supplies across the state, continues their mission of distributing PPE to various county emergency managers and pushed supplies to 10 counties yesterday.


In the last 24 hours, West Virginia Guardsmen and women packed 2,196 meals at the Mountaineer Food Bank and 396 family meals at the Facing Hunger Foodbank. To date, WVNG members have assisted in the packing and distribution of 140,539 meals at local food banks and through refrigerated truck deliveries to County Boards of Education.


West Virginia National Guard medical personnel augmenting DHHR’s regional epidemiology teams were able to support 160 contact tracing engagements yesterday. To date, the state’s seven regional epidemiology teams have conducted more than 3,488 contract tracings.


All current and future missions performed by the WVNG are a part of a coordinated state-level public health preparation and response effort for the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, initiated by Governor Jim Justice, and being led by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.