NEWS | Jan. 11, 2021

Utah National Guard broadens support to long-term health care facilities

By Lt. Col. Jaime Thomas Utah National Guard

Former Gov. Gary Herbert tasked the Utah National Guard with supporting long-term health care facilities as Utah hospitals reach their COVID-19 patient capacity. As hospitals reach their maximum ICU patient capacity, the overflow of patients may be transported to one of four, long-term health care facilities in Salt Lake City, Ogden, Orem and St. George.

Utah National Guard Soldiers and Airmen supporting the State COVID-19 response for ICU patients are licensed/trained nurses and medics. Approximately nine service members began support to a long-term health care facility in Washington County on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Additional teams remain on standby, and are trained and ready to lend support to facilities located in Ogden, Salt Lake City and Orem.

“The COVID-19 Task Force has yet another opportunity to support our state and our communities. Some of our nurses and medics will be augmenting one of four care facilities designated to help ease the burden on hospitals and possible overflow of patients. Most of these Soldiers and Airmen are currently already on our mobile testing and facilities assessment teams, and will be re-assigned to the alternate care facility mission,” said Col. Tammy Manwaring, commander, COVID-19 Task Force. “On Monday, nine service members will begin working in partnership with the civilian health care staff and supporting a facility in St. George, which is close to maximum capacity. Our service members are eager to help out and make a difference while they support the COVID-19 response in another capacity.”

Soldiers and Airmen from the Utah National Guard continue to provide the state with support to long-term care facilities; contact tracing and investigation teams; working to receive, stage, and ship personal protective equipment packages; mobile testing teams; lab call back; and additional support to the Utah Department of Health.

The safety of all citizens and service members remains a top priority. COVID-19 safety protocols are implemented during all support operations to ensure the safety of all Utahns. The Utah National Guard continues to be fully involved at the local, state and federal levels in the planning and execution of the nation’s response to COVID-19.

Each of our nearly 7,500 service members is also a civilian, living and working in communities across the state. They have a proven track record of answering the call to assist civilian authorities during emergencies.
 

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Media Notes: Please contact Lt. Col. Jaime Thomas for any additional questions 801-716-9063.