SHORELINE, Wash. – As more people are vaccinated for COVID-19, the need for testing is still critical to slow the spread and reopen the economy.In December, the Washington National Guard’s 10th Civil Support Team was brought in to support the Washington State Department of Health, which is trying to speed up the process of analyzing COVID-19 tests.“We are analyzing more than 150 tests a day, which is almost 15 percent of the entire state’s Department of Health testing pool,” said Capt. Brady Plunkett, operations officer for the 10th CST.The process is pretty streamlined. Local providers conduct the COVID-19 tests, and once the Department of Health receives the sample, it is sent to the laboratory for analysis. The process takes less than 24 hours but having more qualified analyzers is critical to making that happen.“We are utilizing our mobile laboratory, did some small configurations and we are able to analyze the tests in a safe environment,” said Warrant Officer Daniel Jones, survey section leader. “We separate positive tests from negative tests. Once the results are confirmed, the information goes to our team in the communications truck to enter into the state’s database, which notifies the provider, who then notifies the tested individual.”While this is the standard operation for the 10th CST, the team is happy to be able to provide the surge capacity to the state and the civilian health care system during this unprecedented public health crisis.“Our folks know this isn’t a standard mission for us, but they are happy to be able to provide the capacity to the state, helping us move forward in this fight,” said Jones.The 22-person team has been actively engaged with the COVID-19 response since this summer when members of the unit worked around the state to support community-based test sites.For more National Guard newsNational Guard FacebookNational Guard TwitterHow the National Guard is helpingPhotos of the National Guard responseLatest from the CDC