NEWS | Jan. 25, 2021

Utah National Guard broadens COVID-19 support throughout Utah

By Lt. Col. Jaime Thomas Utah National Guard

The Utah National Guard, in cooperation with the Utah Department of Health,  has expanded its support of the COVID-19 mission providing vaccinations and monoclonal antibody infusions to patients living in long-term care facilities throughout Utah.

On January 19, 2021, Utah National Guard Soldiers and Airmen began administering vaccinations in Utah County to civilians that are 70-years old or older. Getting vaccinated is an important step to help Utah and the country eliminate COVID-19 and get back to a normal life.

“We are excited to be on the frontlines of helping the governor in the delivery of vaccines,” said Tech. Sgt. Eric Bornemeier, medical team noncommissioned officer in charge. “We are here to serve the community, our families and neighbors; it’s our job as Guards members to be of help and to serve.”

The Monoclonal Infusion Strike Team will administer these therapies to long-term care facility patients that have recently been diagnosed with mild to moderate COVID-19 helping to reduce viral load, symptoms, and the risk of hospitalization.

“Once a positive COVID-19  test is confirmed, there is a seven-day window to receive the infusion,” said Bornemeier. “Antibodies are provided to the patient through the infusion, giving better outcomes and faster recovery times. It takes three hours for each patient to receive the infusion. It doesn’t take the place of the vaccine and doesn’t fight against all the different variances of the vaccine.”

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.