More than 200 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard have been activated to support the state’s COVID-19 response efforts. This number is expected to increase to over 400 by the end of the week.
The Guardsmen will be focused on three specific areas – supporting nasal swab community testing sites, supporting saliva community testing sites and providing staffing support to long-term care facilities.
Since September, the Minnesota National Guard has been assisting the Minnesota Department of Health in the operation of community-based testing sites across Minnesota. Starting this week, Minnesota Guardsmen were assigned to eleven semi-permanent testing locations, which will include one facility in Crookston at the National Guard Armory.
Minnesota Guardsmen supporting long-term care facilities will complete temporary nursing assistant training in accordance with Minnesota Department of Health and the National Center of Assisted living guidelines. The training will be conducted by medically trained members of the Minnesota National Guard and validated by the Minnesota Department of Health.
Facilities that have exhausted all other avenues of staffing due to COVID-19 positive cases can request assistance from the State of Minnesota.
The Minnesota National Guard is prepared to assist the state of Minnesota in its COVID-19 response efforts as long as needed in order to help prevent further spread of the virus and keep Minnesotans safe.