CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — After more than two years of efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Guard’s COVID-19 response mission will transition from a federal level to a state-level after Friday. This means the West Virginia National Guard’s longest federal mission will end on July 1, 2022.
According to Maj. Gen. Bill Crane, WVNG Adjutant General, and West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice have authorized the activation of 60 WVNG personnel to a status of State Active Duty to continue efforts to support COVID-19 response around the state through September 2022.
Crane said since the WVNG was first mobilized for COVID-19 response in March 2020, the Guard has supported 5,779 testing lanes for more than 100,000 West Virginians, supported 11,187 vaccination lanes, assisted local health departments by conducting 146,568 data entries for contact tracing, completed 5,194 missions to deliver personal protective equipment and supplies to all 55 counties in the Mountain State, disinfected 644 vehicles and 365 facilities, and provided support to 37 hospitals and long-term care facilities throughout 26 counties.
While the governors of each state have been commanding their Guards’ responses, Crane said the Department of Defense has been fully funding the efforts under a FEMA mission assignment authorized by the President of the United States.
The WVNG’s COVID-19 mission became focused on transporting and delivering supplies throughout the state after a large draw-down of troops in March 2022, Crane said. He said the two-year mission will now be closed out and the necessary checks and balances will be completed.
The WVNG says that the Mountain State may receive a reimbursement from FEMA’s Public Assistance program at a 90% federal cost share after July 1, 2022.