West Virginia National Guard pulls service members down from COVID-19 response
West Virginia National Guard pulls service members down from COVID-19 response

West Virginia National Guard pulls service members down from COVID-19 response

CHARLESTON, W.Va. The West Virginia National Guard has announced preparations to withdraw service members from COVID-19 response and state hospital support as March marks the two-year anniversary of the mission.

Under the leadership of Governor Jim Justice and in partnership with the Joint Interagency Task Force, the West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) is beginning to pull down this week. According to WVNG, more than 530 soldiers and pilots work in various capacities across the state, to include logistics and transportation, Covid-19 testing and vaccinations, contact tracing, hospital and administrative support.

Major General Bill Crane, adjutant general of the WVNG, said during Monday’s COVID-19 briefing that at the height of the pandemic, that number was more than 700 soldiers and pilots. He called it teamwork from many organizations in the state to keep the state more secure.

State Adjutant General Bill Crane

“It is great to see how we can come together as an organization, both the hospitals and the guard, because we are so service-oriented. We did the great work that needed to be done to support and secure life in West Virginia, ”Crane said.

The movement comes as the number of active cases of COVID-19 falls towards record low levels. On Monday, the State Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) confirmed 1,244 active cases compared to figures seen in July last year.

On Friday, WVNG’s hospital support mission ends. Current Covid-19 contingency orders from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for more than 500 WVNG service members are set to end Wednesday. An extension is available through June 30 for WVNG staff to help complete the mission and provide continued support to various government agencies, a statement said.

Service members will begin their out-treatment next week and will be able to attend an on-site job fair to connect soldiers, pilots and their spouses or family members with employment opportunities if needed. Crane said there will be a job fair Tuesday and Wednesday.

“To help them navigate the process of getting out of order, and if they do not have a job to go back to, to make sure they have an opportunity. In some cases, some of them say they might going into the hospitals and wanting to continue some of that work, ”Crane said.

WVNG releases these figures relative to its COVID-19 response:

– Supported 5,242 Covid-19 test tracks for more than 100,000 citizens

– Supported 11,187 Covid-19 vaccination courses

– Completed 146,568 data entries for contact tracking with local health departments

– Completed 5,194 delivery missions for personal protective equipment and supplies to all 55 counties in West Virginia

– Disinfected 644 vehicles and 365 facilities

– Supported 37 hospitals / long-term care facilities in 26 counties

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