Wyoming National Guard-COVID

Wyoming Air National Guard Captain Barbara Sickler makes a COVID-19 contact tracing call inside the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security building in Cheyenne. Gov. Mark Gordon activated the Wyoming National Guard to help some of the state’s overburdened hospitals.

Wyoming’s hospitals have sought additional state support to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and the surge in hospitalized patients. There are about 200 people with COVID-19 in Wyoming hospitals as of Tuesday, which is near the peak number the state has seen during the pandemic.

To help some of the state’s overwhelmed hospitals, Gov. Mark Gordon has activated Wyoming National Guard troops to provide temporary assistance to hospitals throughout the state.

Gordon has called about 95 soldiers and airmen to active duty status and assigned to hospital locations at 24 sites in 17 Wyoming cities. They will serve to augment current hospital and Wyoming Department of Health staff to help ease workloads imposed upon them because of the large numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

The 233 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Wyoming hospitals on Sept 8 were the most since a surge late November that saw a peak of 247on Nov. 30. In Albany County’s Ivinson Memorial Hospital, there were five reported COVID patients Tuesday, according to the Wyoming Department of Health. That’s down from 11 as of Sept. 10.

“I am grateful to the members of our Wyoming National Guard for once again answering the call to provide assistance in our hospitals during this surge,” Gordon said. “Our Guard members truly are Wyoming’s sword and shield, and their commitment to our state is something for which every Wyoming citizen can be thankful.”

Guard members will help with things such as: assisting in environmental cleanup in hospital facilities; food and nutrition service; COVID-19 screening; managing personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies; and other support tasks. Some also will be trained to administer COVID-19 tests.

“The delta variant has overwhelmed the medical institutions of states across this country. Our state is no different with most hospitals at or near capacity,” said Col. David Pritchett, director of the joint staff for the Wyoming National Guard. “The soldiers and airmen of the Wyoming National Guard are proud to jump back in to provide much needed assistance to our communities as we continue to battle the effects of COVID-19.”

The orders for guardsmen will be 14-30 day rotations with the potential to extend beyond that through Dec. 31. The numbers and locations of guardsmen may change based on hospital needs.

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