UTNG’s Contact Tracing and Investigation Team works tirelessly to protect local communities

By Cpt. Brad Herkimer | Public Affairs | Dec. 8, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah —

 

 

The ongoing mission of the Utah National Guard Contact Tracing and Investigation Team is to reduce the spread of COVID-19 through morbidity investigations, and methodical contact tracing within 24 hours of a positive test.  The team has two primary objectives: First, is to educate and inform people who have tested positive for COVID-19 on the proper precautions they should take.  Secondly, to stop the spread by identifying, contacting, and educating those who came into contact with a morbidity (COVID-19 Positive) case.

 

The Contact Tracing and Investigations effort of the COVID-19 Task Force is comprised of 109 Utah National Guard Soldiers and Airmen from all over the state of Utah.  These Soldiers and Airmen have partnered with seven local county health departments to include: Bear River, Davis, Utah County, San Juan, South-West, Wasatch, and Weber-Morgan.  Additionally, the National Guard Contact Tracing Team partners with the Utah Department of Health for worksite investigations, and contact tracing overflow from other county health departments

 

National Guard Contact Investigators work remotely from their own homes.  They call people who have tested positive and conduct investigations into the symptoms and circumstances of each case.  Further, they identify everyone that a person recently diagnosed with COVID-19 has been in contact with since they became contagious.  Cases are assigned by each of the county health departments to Soldiers and Airmen aligned to that county.

 

Currently the team averages working on around 10 cases per Soldier or Airmen.  Calls and investigations generally take 30-60 minutes per call depending on complexity and questions the patient may have.  Since the end of August, the Contact Tracing and Investigations Team have conducted more than 36,400 investigations.

 

“UTNG (Utah National Guard) has provided an essential heavy lift during the COVID pandemic. Soldiers have been ready and willing to take on investigations and provided necessary education and follow-up to individuals impacted by the pandemic. The past nine months have been filled with uncertainty and stress. It has been nice to have UTNG be a consistent and positive force through these trying times,” said Jesse K. Bush, the director of the Division of Health Promotion in the Weber-Morgan Health Department.

 

Anyone who comes into close contact with someone who has COVID-19 is at increased risk of becoming infected themselves, and of potentially infecting others.  Contact tracing helps prevent further transmission of the virus by quickly identifying and informing people who may be infected and contagious, so they can take steps to not infect others.  Additionally, morbidity investigations help inform and educate those who have tested positive in how to effectively isolate to prevent transmission to others. 

 

Our civilian partners at the Utah Department of Health and at local county health departments are working tirelessly to protect our local communities.  The Utah National Guard is honored to assist our civilian partners in stopping the spread of COVID-19 through contact tracing and investigations. 

CPT Brad Herkimer

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Your Career Starts Here

Gov. Elect Spencer Cox officially became Utah’s 18th governor after Justice Paige Petersen administered the oath of office during his inauguration ceremony at Tuacahan Center for the Arts in Ivins, Washington County, Utah on Jan. 4, 2021,.

Cox and his lieutenant, Deidre Henderson, took the oath of office against a backdrop of red rock cliffs at the Tuacahn Center for the Arts Amphitheatre in Ivins. The date also marks Utah’s 125th anniversary of statehood. 

Members of the Utah National Guard supported the inauguration with the Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Michael J. Turley as the master of ceremony; the Utah National Guard Honor Guard presentation of colors; members of the 2nd Battalion; 222nd Field Artillery fire a 19-gun cannon salute; a four aircraft flyover by members of 2nd Battalion, 211th General Support Aviation Battalion; members of the 85th Weapons of Mass Destruction—Civil Support Team and other support personnel.
Gov. Spencer J. Cox inauguration ceremony 1-4-2021
By Ileen Kennedy | Jan. 5, 2021
Gov. Elect Spencer J. Cox officially became Utah’s 18th governor after Justice Paige Petersen administered the oath of office during an inauguration ceremony at Tuacahan Center for the Arts in Ivins, Washington County, Utah on Jan. 4, 2021, succeeding former Gov. Gary Herbert. 

Lt. Col. Jeremy Stevenson, commander of the 141st Military Intelligence Battalion, speaks during the farewell ceremony for a detachment of 24 Soldiers from the 141st MI at the Utah National Guard’s Orem Readiness Center Dec. 10, 2020, as they prepare to depart for an overseas deployment. The deploying detachment is comprised of human intelligence and counterintelligence Soldiers and tasked to provide force protection support to ground forces during a 12-month deployment in the U.S. Central Command area of operations.(U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. 1st Class John Etheridge)
Utah National Guard’s 141 MI Battalion hold farewell ceremony for Soldiers deploying to Middle East
By Sgt 1st Class John Etheridge | Dec. 16, 2020
In a scaled back event due to COVID-19 precautions, 24 Soldiers from the 141st Military Intelligence Battalion, 300th Military Intelligence Brigade, said a final farewell during a ceremony Dec. 10, 2020, at the Utah National Guard’s Orem Readiness Center as they prepare to depart for an overseas deployment.

There is nothing better than starting your day with a good old fashioned ruck march. Going where and how far you ask? The snipers wondered that themselves as they started off on foot to ranges of unknown distance headed to obstacles of unknown difficulty. Fatigued and unfamiliar, each team races against time and instability to attain as many targets as possible in the allotted time given on ranges at Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center, Barling, Arkansas, December 5, 2020. (U.S. Army National Guard photos by Sgt. Israel Sanchez)
50th WPW and 30th AFSAM Sniper Championships ~ Colorado, California National Guard Win Sniper Championships
By Maj. Theresa Austin, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center | Dec. 16, 2020
Staff Sgt. Nick D. Hardin and Master Sgt. Richard T. Weems, Utah Army National Guard, earned 3rd place overall for the 50th Winston P. Wilson Sniper Championships and the Winston P. Wilson Precision Engagement Team Champions award December 10, 2020. The championships were hosted by the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center, with the help of the U.S. National Guard Sniper School, and were held at the Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center December 4-10, 2020

Lt. Col. Lorin Bodily, chief of operations for the 20th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, studies a large “sand table” map prior to a combined arms rehearsal at Fort Carson, Colo.(U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Nathaniel Free)
From NCO to Virtual Commander
By Sgt. Nathaniel Free | Dec. 4, 2020
The 204th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade and many of its subordinate elements traveled from Utah to Fort Carson, Colorado, to conduct a sweeping division-level combat simulation called a “warfighter exercise,” held in October 2020.

It can be hard to break into a new industry without any real skills. Many entry-level jobs still require at least 1-2 years of prior experience, which can be tough to come by. The Utah Army National Guard will cut you a paycheck while training you in a new skill that can be used in the civilian economy. We are actively looking to hire and train truck drivers, engineers, mechanics, medics, telecommunications and IT experts.
10 unexpected benefits of serving in the Utah Army National Guard
By Sgt. Nathaniel Free | Nov. 16, 2020
The Utah Army National Guard is a reserve component of the United States Army that falls under the

1st. Sgt. Rick Hone (left) and Sgt. 1st Class Bill Bowman (right)
When You’re in Trouble, Call a First Sergeant
By Sgt. 1st Class Richard Stowell | Oct. 30, 2020
Sometimes a group needs someone who is focused on the members of the team — equipping them and paving the way for them to succeed. If your organization works in a dynamic, demanding environment, you might need to find yourself a first sergeant.

An Airman assigned to Joint Task Force Pioneer cuts branches scattered by wind at the Kaysville City Cemetery during Operation Wind Debris, September 11, 2020. Members of the Utah Training Center, Utah National Guard, participated in the operation after Governor Gary Herbert activated the task force to respond to damage caused by windstorms earlier in the week.
Joint Task Force Pioneer helps Utahns clean up wind debris
By Sgt. 1st Class Rich Stowell | Sept. 17, 2020
Nearly 300 members of the Utah National Guard responded to an activation order to help clean up debris caused by windstorms in Northern Utah last week.

Lt. Col. Budd Vogrinec, commander of the 625th Military Police Battalion and Command Sgt. Maj. Garrett Whatcott unveil the guidon of their new unit during an activation ceremony at the Springville Readiness Center in Springville, Utah, Sept. 13, 2020. The 625th MP Battalion will support the 204th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Utah National Guard.
From one battalion to another: the 489th cases its colors, while the 625th unveils
By Sgt. 1st Class Rich Stowell | Sept. 13, 2020
Members of the Utah National Guard who were part of the 489th Brigade Support Battalion became part of the 625th Military Police Battalion during a ceremony at the Springville Readiness Center, Sep. 13, 2020. Soldiers assigned to the 489th BSB stood in formation during the deactivation for their unit. The 489th BSB was activated into the Utah Army National Guard in 2008 whose primary mission was to give logistics support to its parent unit, the 204th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade.

Brig. Gen. Michael Turley, left, adjutant general, Utah National Guard presents Command Sgt.  Maj. Eric Anderson with a citation of merit following Anderson’s retirement after a 31 year career in the Utah National Guard. Anderson served as the senior enlisted leader for the Utah National Guard before announcing his retirement to take place this fall.
Utah National Guard’s 10th Senior Enlisted Leader retires
By Staff Sgt. Timothy Beery | Sept. 3, 2020
CAMP WILLIAMS, Utah – The Utah National Guard said ‘goodbye and best wishes’ to its senior enlisted leader and one of its most trusted caretakers Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020, in a celebratory retirement ceremony at Camp Williams. Following a distinguished career which spanned parts of five decades, Command Sgt. Maj. Eric W. Anderson is hanging up the boots.

Gov. Gary R. Herbert applauds after presenting the Utah Medal of Valor to Sgt. Chasen Brown, a service member of the Utah National Guard, in the Gold Room at the Utah State Capitol on Sept 1, 2020.

Brown, a gunner for Charlie Battery, 2nd Battalion, 222nd Field Artillery, was attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada on Oct. 1, 2017. Shortly after the concert started, a man started shooting indiscriminately at the massive crowd. Without hesitation or regard to personal safety, Brown immediately started to render aid to the wounded personnel while under constant gunfire. His actions on that tragic day, also known as one of the deadliest mass shootings in the United States, saved the lives of half a dozen fellow concertgoers.
Guardsman receives Utah Medal of Valor for heroism during mass shooting in Las Vegas
By Ileen Kennedy | Sept. 1, 2020
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — In the midst of gunfire, and with a frantic crowd trying to flee from being