Wyoming activates National Guard to relieve hospitals amid COVID-19 surge

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Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon announced Tuesday he had activated the National Guard to assist hospitals in the state facing a surge in COVID-19 cases.

"I am grateful to the members of our Wyoming National Guard for once again answering the call to provide assistance in our hospitals during this surge," Gordon said. "Our Guard members truly are Wyoming's sword and shield, and their commitment to our state is something for which every Wyoming citizen can be thankful."

There are roughly 200 people hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state, nearing a pandemic high, the Wyoming Department of Health announced in a statement.

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The Republican governor "has called approximately 95 soldiers and airmen to state active duty orders, assigned to hospital locations at 24 different sites within 17 Wyoming cities," a statement read.

These Guardsmen will bolster the hospitals' workforce and help alleviate their workloads increased by the number of pandemic-related hospitalizations.

"Guard members' responsibilities will include: assisting in environmental cleanup in hospital facilities; food and nutrition service; COVID-19 screening; managing personal protective equipment supplies; and other support tasks," according to the statement.

Several service members will also conduct COVID-19 tests after receiving the proper training, the health department said.

"The delta variant has overwhelmed the medical institutions of states across this country. Our state is no different with most hospitals at or near capacity," said Col. David Pritchett, director of the joint staff for the Wyoming National Guard. "The soldiers and airmen of the Wyoming National Guard are proud to jump back in to provide much-needed assistance to our communities as we continue to battle the effects of COVID-19."

Gordon's activation orders will place the guard members on 14-30 day rotations, the health department said, and the number of guardsmen at specific locations is open to change depending on needs.

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The rotation period may continue up to Dec. 31, the state said.

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Tags: News, Wyoming, Hospital, Coronavirus, National Guard

Original Author: Luke Gentile

Original Location: Wyoming activates National Guard to relieve hospitals amid COVID-19 surge

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