West Virginia National Guard ramps up COVID-19 support
Members of the West Virginia National Guard’s Task Force Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Response Enterprise (CRE) (TF-CRE), sanitize workspaces for the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission in Charleston, West Virginia, April 11, 2020. Utilizing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) environmental cleaning and disinfection recommendations, TF-CRE sanitized workspaces on multiple floors of the building, helping to combat the possible spread of COVID-19 and allowing employees to safely return to work developing and overseeing the public policy agenda for West Virginia’s four-year colleges and universities. (Photo Credit: Edwin Wriston) VIEW ORIGINAL

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Since beginning support of the state’s COVID-19 response a month ago, the West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) has completed nearly 320 missions and now has almost 585 members on duty.

Twenty members of the Task Force Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Response Enterprise (TF-CRE) helped sanitize the West Virginia Department of Higher Education building in Charleston.

TF-CRE also trained dozens of retail businesses how to properly handle cargo and boxes and put on and remove personal protective equipment (PPE). This team is also working with Operation Farm Stand in Hurricane on best practices for farmers and farm stands to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

TF-CRE has trained more than 1,200 people at 300 stores while also assisting with COVID-19 drive-through testing lanes in Huntington, Grafton, Weston, Williamson and Brooke County. Drive-through testing support will expand to include Wyoming, Mingo, Logan and Hampshire counties.

Task Force Sustainment, the team moving critical PPE supplies and running supply chain logistics, delivered two ventilators to Bridgeport and Berkeley County and is distributing PPE to long term care facilities and county emergency managers to address any shortfalls.

Some 30 WVNG members will be helping Workforce West Virginia process unemployment claims and others continue to help package and distribute food.

Guard data analysts are working with the state's regional epidemiology teams to support 156 contact tracing engagements and three expedited specimen transfers to track the spread of the coronavirus.

Other missions include answering the COVID-19 hotline in Charleston; instructing first responders and hospital staff how to minimize cross-contamination when putting on and taking off PPE; delivering PPE to hospitals and health departments; and helping prepare an alternate care site.

All WVNG missions are part of a coordinated state response to the COVID-19 pandemic, initiated by Gov. Jim Justice and led by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

For more National Guard news: http://www.nationalguard.mil/

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National Guard COVID-19 Response: https://www.nationalguard.mil/coronavirus/

Coronavirus (COVID-19): https://www.coronavirus.gov/

Latest from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/

COVID-19 Response: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thenationalguard/albums/72157713483827538