W.Va. Guard outlines additional line of effort for COVID-19 response

| West Virginia National Guard | April 24, 2020

CHALRLESTON, W.Va —

The West Virginia National Guard’s (WVNG) adjutant general, Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, added an additional line of effort to our COVID-19 response today, including innovation as a sustained objective moving forward.

“Since the beginning, Governor Justice has tasked the National Guard to look at innovative ways to assist West Virginia in battling this pandemic and our people have risen to that challenge,” said Hoyer. “We will continue to look at ways to address PPE shortages, implement technologies to better assist agencies in this response, as well as find ways to safely move forward with reopening the economy to best protect West Virginians.”

Members of Task Force CRE and Task Force Medical conducted COVID-19 testing at one additional state hospital and one nursing home facility in Elkins today consisting of approximately 600 patients and staff. This marks nine facilities to undergo testing by the WVNG this week and to date, this team has tested 1,799 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 at three locations, sanitization of facilities, and N95 mask fit testing. To date, this team has trained 654 stores, 3,102 personnel and 64 medical or long-term care facilities.

Last night, this team also supported operations at a Jackson County Nursing home, providing just-in-time PPE wear training for a survey team and assisted in decontaminating their PPE upon exit from the facility.

Since beginning operations in support of the state’s COVID-19 response 42 days ago, the WVNG has completed 650 missions through our five lines of effort of operationalizing of the event, stabilizing the population, providing logistical movement of critical supplies, innovation and conducting data analysis to combat the virus. Currently, 706 members of the WVNG are on duty serving the citizens of the State of West Virginia.

West Virginia Guard personnel assisting in sanitization lanes for first responder and public transport vehicles have sanitized 138 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 eight counties yesterday. To date, this team has delivered critical PPE and supplies in excess of 765,000 items to all 55 counties in West Virginia.

In the last 24 hours, West Virginia Guardsmen and women packed 2,226 meals at the Mountaineer Food Bank and 360 family meals at the Facing Hunger Foodbank. Delivery of 3,500 meals via refrigerated truck will take place today for Putnam County.

West Virginia National Guard medical personnel augmenting DHHR’s regional epidemiology teams were able to support 172 contact tracing engagements and seven expedited specimen transfers yesterday. To date, the state’s seven regional epidemiology teams have conducted more than 3,660 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.

B-roll footage of current and ongoing WVNG missions are available at: www.dvidshub.net/units/wv-ang