W.Va. Guard prepared to assist in areas of COVID-19 case increases in West Virginia

| West Virginia National Guard | May 21, 2020

CHARLESTON, W.Va —

At the direction of Governor Jim Justice, the West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) will be working in conjunction with our partners from the Bureau for Public Health and the local health departments in Jefferson and Berkeley counties to identify any gaps or needs in the local area for COVID-19 response to address the uptick in positive cases.

Today, members of the WVNG concluded COVID-19 testing at the Huttonsville Correction Center by testing the remaining staff on night shift at the facility.

The WVNG will provide 18 personnel from Task Force CRE and Task Force Medical to test the remaining 100 individuals at the facility in Randolph County this afternoon. This team will have tested a total of more than 300 personnel during this mission.

This weekend, Task Force CRE and Task Force Medical will provide assistance for high-density population testing in Cabell, Kanawha, Marion and Monongalia counties. To date, they have conducted 2,879 COVID-19 tests for 87 lane support missions and 3,391 tests as a part of their overall response mission.

Since beginning operations in support of the state’s COVID-19 response 69 days ago, the WVNG has completed 1,140 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, 678 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 743 businesses, 4,184 personnel and 101 medical or long-term care facilities.

Yesterday, the WVNG completed their mission of providing support to the Mountaineer Food Bank in Gassaway. West Virginia Guard Soldiers and Airmen who assisted at this facility will be repurposed for COVID-19 response missions elsewhere in the state. The Guard will continue to maintain contact with our food bank partners in the event there is an increase in demand that would require a need for National Guard assistance in Gassaway. At the conclusion of this mission, WVNG personnel assisted in the packaging of more than 68,800 meals, which were in turn delivered to 48 counties within the State of West Virginia.

In the last 24 hours, West Virginia Guardsmen and women assisted packing 120 family meal boxes and 2,000 bag meals at the Facing Hunger Food Bank and 1,375 box meals distributed for the Harrison County Board of Education food mission in Clarksburg. In addition, they delivered 3,900 meals to Ohio County via refrigerated trailers.

Task Force Sustainment, our team dedicated to receiving and moving critical supplies across the state, delivered PPE to 4 of 55 county emergency managers yesterday.

West Virginia Guard personnel assisting in sanitization lanes for first responder and public transport vehicles have sanitized 430 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 190 voluntary COVID-19 mapping engagements and 10 expedited specimen transfer to the state lab. To date, the state’s seven regional epidemiology teams have conducted more than 7,755 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