By Maj. Holli Nelson
| West Virginia National Guard Public Affairs | June 26, 2020
The West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) has been supporting the state’s COVID-19 response for 105 days through our six lines of effort including 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, 439 members of the WVNG are on duty and we have completed 1,654 missions to date.
This week, Task Force Sustainment began deliveries of personal protective equipment to counties in the state to prepare for any potential surges in the coming weeks and months. This push of PPE will ensure that county emergency managers and health departments have supplies locally available in the event they need them. To date, Task Force Sustainment has distributed 4,690,108 pieces of PPE to all 55 counties in the State of West Virginia.
The Guard is continuing to procure PPE in order to meet a 180-day supply for the state and is working with the hospital and health care associations in the state to monitor PPE supply versus demand totals.
Engineers from the 1092nd Engineer Battalion provided support for debris removal in Fayette and Greenbrier Counties this week following flash flooding that affected area homes. These Soldiers will continue their support to these two counties over the weekend and into next week, at the director of Governor Jim Justice.
This weekend, Task Force CRE and Task Force Medical will assist at multiple COVID-19 testing lanes in Hancock, Cabell, Mingo and McDowell Counties. To date, these teams have conducted 149 COVID-19 lane support missions testing 15,825 individuals and 4,007 tests as a part of their rapid response mission. This team also completed a second round of testing for staff members at both Veterans Homes in Barboursville and Clarksburg this week.
Over the past five days, West Virginia Guardsmen and women maintained the missions supporting area food banks by packing 1,000 bags of dry good and 1,000 bags of ground chuck, completing 468 box meals and serving 600 families through a mobile food bank. Additional support was provided to the Mountaineer Food Bank in Braxton and Preston Counties this week. To date, the Guard has helped to deliver or package 342,586 meals for food insecure West Virginians.
West Virginia Guard personnel assisting in sanitization lanes for first responder and public transport vehicles have sanitized 615 vehicles in two locations – Huntington and Charleston – which includes ambulances, police vehicles and public transport buses.
Our medical personnel augmenting DHHR’s regional epidemiology teams continued inputting data into the state disease surveillance system and conducting COVID-19 mapping this week. To date, the state’s seven regional epidemiology teams have completed more than 13,708 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.