PANACA, Nev. – Task Force 17 Soldiers have been leading the charge in their fight against COVID-19 in major cities, such as Las Vegas, but on June 1, they began helping out rural Lincoln County residents.The Lincoln County Health Department’s Emergency Management Office requested National Guard support for two separate community-based collection sites. One location was at Alamo, and the second was at Lincoln High School.Fifteen Soldiers with the 17th and five with TF Med rolled out of Vegas early Tuesday morning to support the Alamo site mission. Over 20 patients were tested that day in the small community, but those numbers tripled at the high school the following day.Pvt. Cheyann Harley, with TF Med, not only enjoyed the almost 20 degrees cooler temperatures that came with being in rural Nevada, but she also expressed her enthusiasm about helping during the mission. “I think it’s good to be able to get out and help the smaller towns that may not have the support of a big city like Las Vegas has,” Harley said.The Lincoln County Fire Department was on duty for support and provided all the tents, tables, and equipment to run the site. The local emergency management office provided most of the PPE to Soldiers.Patients pulled into ‘station one’ where they met Guard members who helped process their registrations. Soldiers verified patient identification and used that information in the sample log. From there, the medics instructed on how to collect the sample themself. Once it was collected, they held the bio-bag open so that the patient could place the sealed sample into the test kit bag.“The patients kept some paperwork and the other copies went to the emergency management personnel from Lincoln County,” Staff Sgt. Keith Linford said. “The emergency management office will call every patient within 24 to 48 hours about the results – whether they test positive or negative.”The White Pine Community Health Office sent personnel to the sites to observe and get an idea of how to set up and run testing operations. They will be coordinating their locations in the weeks to come, according to staff reports.Linford commented about the mission, “It’s good. I feel like we’re helping and making a difference, even in rural Nevada.”For more National Guard newsNational Guard FacebookNational Guard TwitterHow the National Guard is helpingPhotos of the National Guard responseLatest from the CDCU.S. responseWhite House-CDC response