CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Because the West Virginia Nationwide Guard’s longest federal mission ended final week when the COVID-19 response transitioned from federal to state-level, officers are reflecting on the previous two plus years coping with COVID-19 and what’s forward.
The West Virginia Nationwide Guard (WVNG) was first activated to assist the state with its COVID-19 response in March 2020 with their work has been financed by the federal authorities. Gov. Jim Justice introduced final week that 60 WVNG members can be on lively responsibility from now by September to assist the state’s InterAgency Process Drive with the remaining logistics within the response.
Maj. Holli Nelson with the WVNG advised MetroNews that the Guard did what they’d do to through the federal mission.
“On the finish of the day, what we had been doing was serving to West Virginians to remain secure. Whether or not it was transporting PPE, serving to with vaccinations, doing contact tracing, something that we would have liked it was an entire authorities method,” Nelson stated.
For the reason that starting of the federal mission, the Guard helped preserve 5,779 COVID testing lanes, 11,187 vaccination lanes, greater than 146,000 information entries, 5,200 supply missions together with disinfecting of roughly 1,000 automobiles and services. Guard members helped with staffing wants in 37 hospitals.
Nelson stated the 60 members remaining on lively responsibility will primarily proceed duties they’ve been assigned – together with logistical assist comparable to vaccine supply and aiding native well being departments, the state Division of Well being and Human Assets and the Joint InterAgency Process Drive (JIAT). Members will even assist the JIAT, led by retired State Adjutant Basic Jim Hoyer, with checks and balances.
State Adjutant Basic Invoice Crane beforehand said that the Guard can be prepared if additional activation is required.
“We can be ready to return again on responsibility and do the missions which might be required to ensure our residents are taken care of as they should be,” Crane stated.
Nelson added that the WVNG has taken classes from the response, remembering the preliminary conferences as ‘constructing an airplane as we had been flying it.’ She stated the COVID-19 response has constructed essential relationships inside the authorities for the longer term, giving the Guard the power to relay on InterAgency companions.
“We have now actually constructed a terrific complete authorities response shifting ahead. By the JIAT assemble as properly, we had individuals within the room making choices and that’s what was a key consider us being so profitable.”
Federal funding has lined 100% of the Guard response over the past 27 months. The funding components modified July 1.
On Thursday, the state Division of Well being and Human Assets confirmed 2,133 lively circumstances of COVID-19 within the state. That stage has been regular across the 2,000 mark since late Could.