Guardsmen to help fight COVID-19 in Georgia’s long-term care facilities

Georgia News

Tech. Sgt. Natalie White, a noncommissioned officer in charge of bioenvironmental engineering for the 116th MDG, conducts a surgical mask and respirator fit test on Staff Sgt. Antoinette Murphy, a health management services technician with the 116th MDG. (still frame from U.S. Air National Guard video by Senior Master Sgt. Roger Parsons)

ATLANTA (WSAV) – Georgia’s National Guardsmen are ready to assist long-term care facilities with COVID-19 cases.

Georgia National Guard Adjutant General Tom Carden and Gov. Brian Kemp announced Tuesday that over 100 Guardsmen are expected to be sent to assisted living facilities or nursing homes across the state.

“Georgia’s top priority is increasing healthcare capacity to protect vulnerable Georgians, especially those residing in long-term care facilities,” said Kemp. “If we can keep these populations as healthy as possible, we will be able to conserve precious medical supplies and hospital bed space in the coming days and weeks.”

State officials anticipate four or five soldiers being deployed to specific facilities but for training purposes, 20 soldiers are heading to Pelham Parkway Nursing Home on Tuesday.

The facility in southwest Georgia has reported five confirmed cases of the new virus. Soldiers will review sanitation methods already in place, train staff on more aggressive infectious disease control measures and thoroughly clean the facility.

“Our training has prepared us to fight this virus, and we are eager to lend a hand in this battle,” Carden added.

The governor’s office said this assignment is the first of several missions based on close cooperation with the Georgia National Guard, Department of Public Health, Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, Georgia Health Care Association and Georgia Center for Assisted Living.

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