U.S. Army Spc. Taylor Hunt, 996th Medical Company Area Support combat medic, provides a COVID-19 vaccination to the patient at a medical center in Kingman, Ariz., on May 12, 2021. Photo: U.S. Air National Guard by Staff Sgt. Dillon Davis

WYOMING — Today, Gov. Mark Gordon activated the Wyoming National Guard to provide hospital assistance in response to the surge in hospitalized patients across the state.

There are approximately 200 people with COVID-19 in Wyoming hospitals today, which is near the peak number the state has seen during the pandemic.

Gov. Gordon has activated guardsmen to provide temporary assistance to hospitals throughout the state. Approximately 95 soldiers and airmen to State Active Duty orders have been assigned to hospital location at 24 different sites within 17 Wyoming cities. Guard members’ will serve to augment current hospital and Wyoming Department of Health staff to help ease workloads caused by large numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

“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,” Governor 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’ responsibilities will include:  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 will also 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, up until Dec. 31. The numbers and locations of guardsmen may change based on hospital needs.

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Buckrail @ Caroline

Caroline Chapman is a Community News Reporter. She's a lover of alliteration, easy-to-follow recipes and board games when everyone knows the rules. Her favorite aspect about living in the Tetons is the collective admiration that Wyomingites share for the land and the life that it sustains.