Utah National Guard members to help at care facilities due to spike in COVID-19 variant cases

CAMP WILLIAMS, Utah - Army Spc. Tristan Spoerri, with the Utah National Guard Medical Detachment, administers the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to a soldier on Camp Williams, Utah, Sept. 11, 2021. File photo: U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Alejandro Lucero

CAMP WILLIAMS, Utah, Feb. 1, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — The Utah National Guard’s COVID-19 Joint Task Force activated approximately 50 service members to assist long-term care facilities statewide, amid the Omicron surge.

The increase in COVID-19 cases from the Omicron variant has affected the Utah healthcare system causing staff shortages in hospitals and long-term care facilities, a statement from the Utah National Guard says. The Utah Department of Health requested additional Guard support for affected facilities through February.

“Utah National Guard members have provided invaluable assistance to the UDOH during the pandemic across multiple mission areas,” said Dr. Michelle Hofmann, Utah Department of Health deputy director, in a prepared statement. “We appreciate their hard work and dedication.”

The additional service members will attend a two-day training course coordinated by the Utah Department of Health.

Guard members will be assigned to a facility for one-to-two weeks at a time, and rotated as needed to other facilities experiencing outbreaks and staffing shortages throughout the state.

“Our Soldiers and Airmen are dedicated to supporting the state of Utah and our health care community partners,” said Brig. Gen. Dar Craig, director of joint staff. “We are proud to do our part to alleviate the burden of health care facilities affected by the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.”

The Utah National Guard is a community-based force comprised of approximately 7,300 trained citizen-Soldiers and Airmen who are always ready to support emergencies and operations both locally and worldwide.


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