W.Va. Guard update on COVID-19 response 06/03/2020

By Maj. Josh Poling | West Virginia National Guard Public Affairs | June 3, 2020

CHARLESTON, W.Va. —

During today’s press briefing, Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard, reminded citizens that a hoax continues to make its rounds in our state and that the information is false.

The flyer has been identified in the eastern panhandle of the state and has also been circulated widely on social media platforms and falsely describes a “mobilization of National Guard forces by FEMA and Homeland Security.”

“It is exceptionally important that the people of West Virginia pay particular attention to the information they see and what they share, especially on social media, where rogue actors peddle in misinformation campaigns,” said Hoyer. “The entire goal of these groups –whether they be from Russia, China, or elsewhere – is to stoke fear and panic while undermining the positive work being conducted by our service members across the Nation.”

Since beginning operations in support of the state’s COVID-19 response 82 days ago, the WVNG has completed 1,334 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, 559 members of the WVNG are on duty serving the citizens of the State of West Virginia.

This weekend, June 5th and 6th, Task Force CRE and Task Force Medical will once again assist with COVID-19 testing lanes in McDowell, Ohio and Harrison Counties.  These task forces also assisted in testing of 577 personnel the Sharpe Hospital in Weston, which was completed yesterday.

In the coming weeks, these two teams will be focused on preparing for additional COVID-19 testing for high-density population areas in the state as well as providing additional PPE training in the Eastern Panhandle and other locations, where needed.

To date, Task Force CRE and Task Force Medical have conducted 106 COVID-19 lane support missions testing 8,980 individuals and 4,007 tests as a part of their rapid response mission.

Task Force CRE is continuing to provide PPE training for various businesses, state agencies and first responders. To date, this team has trained 805 businesses, 4,539 personnel and 102 medical or long-term care facilities.

In the last 24 hours, West Virginia Guardsmen and women maintained the missions at the Clarksburg and Huntington Food Banks, and completed 325 bags of produce, 200 bags of meat, and 36 boxes of dry food and delivered 1,800 meals to Lincoln County via refrigerated trailers.

Task Force Sustainment, the team dedicated to receiving and moving critical supplies across the state, delivered PPE to state agencies, assembled 1,000 Corona Virus test kits and packaged and labeled 80,000 KN95 masks for distribution.

West Virginia Guard personnel assisting in sanitization lanes for first responder and public transport vehicles have sanitized 516 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 in place conducting data entry into the state disease surveillance system and conducting COVID-19 mapping which resulted in 241 engagements. To date, the state’s seven regional epidemiology teams have conducted more than 9,741 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.