MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) has been providing essential relief across the mountain state during the Coronavirus pandemic
Miles mentioned that there have been many challenges during the last several weeks, such as effective organization and responding to the effects of the virus.
“It’s quite a monumental task to identify the needs for an entire state during a pandemic and trying to efficiently meet those ever-evolving needs,” Miles stated.
According to Miles, the Guard has seen a great deal of progress in terms of the total missions it has completed. “One of our goals was to complete decontamination and PPE training at everyone non-corporate owned gas station in the state, and we’ve completed this task,” he explained. “We have since then moved on to other types of businesses with the same mission objective.”
The Guard has taken on many different roles in the state during COVID-19. They’ve completed medical missions, logistical missions, decontamination services and food delivery services.
“The Guard has gone business to business making sure that essential employees have the knowledge they need to stay safe in the workplace,” Miles explained.
Miles mentioned that being on the frontline of this pandemic feels somewhat intense at times when he has to go to a contaminated area, also known as a “hot zone.” He said that can be quite lonely because he hasn’t seen his family since late March.
With having first hand experience, Miles believes that the Guard has been a vital asset for COVID-19 relief efforts.
“On April 13, a team of Guardsmen joined with the Morgantown Health Department to test 70 WVU employees and 16 students,” he explained. “This would’ve been a difficult task for the MHD to complete alone due to the sheer number of those who were possibly exposed and needed a test.”
There are several precautions that Miles recommends for the public to stay safe during the pandemic. He said to regularly wash hands, but most importantly to wear masks in public and keep practicing social distancing at six feet apart.