LANSING, Mich. – Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Michigan National Guard (MING) has had an extensive list of priorities to keep communities safe, including assisting at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans (GRHV).Members of the Michigan National Guard have been delivering some of the best tools available to test and measure the risk for COVID-19 among members and staff at the home. They provide daily antigen point-of-care testing to staff, enhancing previous testing requirements – twice-weekly polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for all staff and weekly polymerase chain reaction testing for members. They also will be administering vaccinations.“Providing our veterans the best care possible will always be our mission, and we are immensely grateful for our partnership with the Michigan National Guard as we combat this pandemic,” said Anne Zerbe, director of the Michigan Veterans Homes.The Guard will also provide this testing to the DJ Jacobetti Home for Veterans (DJJHV) in Marquette. Staff will be tested in a drive-through clinic and wait in their cars for test results. If negative, they will receive a text message indicating they can enter the building. A contact tracer contacts those who test positive, instructing them to return home to quarantine and follow-up with a medical provider.“We are facilitating outdoor rapid COVID-19 testing on staff members reporting to work, ensuring folks entering the facility have a negative COVID test,” said Capt. Andrew Pomorski, the officer in charge of the Air Platoon Covid Vaccine and Testing Team (CVTT). “The CVTTs are also providing PCR testing assistance to GRVH staff for the residents.”While working, the teams adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and take other precautions.“All CVTT members wear face coverings while on shift,” said Pomorski. “They also wear rubber latex gloves to limit physical skin contact with testing materials, forms and staff members, limiting a chance for COVID transmission.”Michigan operates two homes for veterans: the Grand Rapids home and the Marquette home. A new home is to open in Chesterfield Township in 2021.“We are honored to be a part of a great effort working with the veterans' home staff to ultimately keep staff members safe so they can provide great care to our veterans,” said Pomorski. “It is important we give back to the vets because these men and women served our country.”For more National Guard newsNational Guard FacebookNational Guard TwitterHow the National Guard is helpingPhotos of the National Guard responseLatest from the CDC