Gordon has called in around 95 soldiers and airmen to state active duty orders, assigned to hospital locations at 24 different sites within 17 Wyoming cities. They will serve to augment current staff to help ease workloads imposed upon them due to 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," 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."
In neighboring Montana, Governor Greg Gianforte announced 70 members of that state’s National Guard will assist hospitals.
Thirty-seven more Wyomingites have died from COVID-19, the Wyoming Department of Health reported Tuesday.
Of the newly reported deaths, 34 occurred this month -- two of which happened within the week. Two of the deaths occurred in August, and one in July.
The state does not include a death in its COVID-19 count unless the virus is listed on the patient’s death certificate as either the cause of death or a contributing factor. There is often a lag between when deaths occur and when deaths are reported because of the time it takes for death certificates to be processed.
These Guardsmen will bolster the hospitals ' workforce and help alleviate their workloads increased by the number of pandemic-related hospitalizations.
"Guard members' responsibilities will include: assisting in environmental cleanup in hospital facilities; food and nutrition service; COVID-19 screening; managing personal protective equipment supplies; and other support tasks," as per the statement.
Several service members will also conduct COVID-19 tests after receiving the proper training, the health department noted.
"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."
Gordon's activation orders will place the guard members on 14-30 day rotations, the health department reported, and the number of guardsmen at specific locations is open to change depending on needs.
The rotation period may even continue up to Dec. 31, the state said.