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By Maj. Holli Nelson
West Virginia National Guard Public Affairs
The West Virginia National Guard closed the Child Development Center located at the Joint Forces Headquarters in Charleston today, following notification of a staff member who tested positive for COVID-19.
“Based on the Governor’s initiative to test all daycare workers and staff and thanks to the partnership with Kanawha-Charleston Health Department for the testing that was done in Kanawha County, we identified an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 and we are taking the appropriate action,” said Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, Adjutant General of the WVNG.
“The health and welfare of our service members and their families is our number one priority,” Hoyer continued. “In conjunction with Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, we will conduct extensive research and provide information to our Guard families and employees as soon as we have it.”
Following Governor Justice’s announcement of issuing an executive order to test all of assisted living facilities and daycare staff around the state, the WVNG is prepared to assist our public health partners where needed, Hoyer noted.
Since beginning operations in support of the state’s COVID-19 response 54 days ago, the WVNG has completed 853 missions through our six lines of effort of operationalizing of the event, stabilizing the population, providing logistical movement of critical supplies, innovation, state surge capacity and capability, and conducting data analysis to combat the virus. Currently, 712 members of the WVNG are on duty serving the citizens of the State of West Virginia.
In the last 24 hours, West Virginia Guardsmen and women assisted packing 1,697 box meals at the Mountaineer Food Bank, 79 family meal boxes at the Facing Hunger Food Bank in Huntington and 3,435 box meals to the Harrison County Board of Education food mission in Clarksburg. In addition, they will deliver 3,900 meals to Ohio County via refrigerated trailers today.
The WVNG is partnered with various organizations that come up with innovative ways to meet demands during the pandemic. Yesterday, our team supported the Facing Hunger Food Bank in Huntington to create a mobile food bank that delivered 198 meals to families.
Today, Task Force CRE is providing additional PPE training for employees from the Division of Highways as well as area healthcare facilities and retail establishments in the state. To date, this team has trained 707 businesses, 3,693 personnel and 85 medical or long-term care facilities.
Task Force Sustainment, our team dedicated to receiving and moving critical supplies across the state, continues their mission this week of distributing PPE to various county emergency managers. To date, they have distributed 1,312,440 items of PPE to all 55 counties in the state.
West Virginia Guard personnel assisting in sanitization lanes for first responder and public transport vehicles have sanitized 307 vehicles in two locations – Huntington and Charleston – which includes ambulances, police vehicles and public transport buses.
West Virginia National Guard medical personnel augmenting DHHR’s regional epidemiology teams were able to support 207 voluntary COVID-19 mapping engagements. To date, the state’s seven regional epidemiology teams have conducted more than 5,560 voluntary COVID-19 mappings.
Today, the WVNG recognizes and salutes all our nurses during National Nurses Week and on National Nurses Day for the incredible job they do.
“I want to pay particular tribute to our Guardsmen and women who balance their careers in healthcare with service to our great nation. We are exceptionally thankful for you today and always,” stated Hoyer.
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.
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