W.Va. Guard assisting with COVID-19 testing, prepped for additional surge support in Eastern Panhandle

| West Virginia National Guard | May 22, 2020

CHARLESTON, W.Va. —

Today, more than 80 members of the West Virginia National Guard are providing assistance for high-density population testing taking place in Cabell, Kanawha, Marion and Monongalia counties.

The WVNG is finalizing plans with our partners from the Bureau for Public Health and the local health departments in the Eastern Panhandle region to address the uptick in positive COVID-19 cases. The Guard has outlined four areas for additional support to Governor Justice, which includes broader testing; epidemiology support; personnel support to assist in data and analytics tracking of positive versus recovered cases, local R0 rate tracking, and hospitalizations by category of case; providing outreach to sectors in the area on best practices, sanitization and PPE wear; and utilizing the Guard for logistical movement of supplies and face coverings for distribution, if needed.

Since beginning operations in support of the state’s COVID-19 response 70 days ago, the WVNG has completed 1,156 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, 683 members of the WVNG are on duty serving the citizens of the State of West Virginia.

Task Force CRE is continuing to provide PPE training for various businesses, state agencies and first responders. To date, this team has trained 745 businesses, 4,261 personnel and 101 medical or long-term care facilities.

In the last 24 hours, West Virginia Guardsmen and women assisted packing 700 family meal boxes at the Facing Hunger Food Bank in Huntington. In addition, they delivered 3,500 meals to Putnam county via refrigerated trailers.

Task Force Sustainment, our team dedicated to receiving and moving critical supplies across the state, delivered PPE to nine of 55 county emergency managers yesterday.

West Virginia Guard personnel assisting in sanitization lanes for first responder and public transport vehicles have sanitized 441 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 151 voluntary COVID-19 mapping engagements and four expedited specimen transfer to the state lab. To date, the state’s seven regional epidemiology teams have conducted more than 7,906 voluntary COVID-19 mappings.

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