PA National Guard supports federal COVID-19 response teams

Regional News

(WTAJ) — The Pennsylvania National Guard (PNG) activated a dual-status commander to provide command and control of federal COVID-19 response teams who recently arrived in Pennsylvania.

Brig. Gen. James McCormack, of the PNG, will oversee an active duty Air-Force medical response team in York and a medical assistance team in Scranton, according to officials. They were sent by the Federal Emergency Management Agency at the request of Governor Tom Wolf.

“Pennsylvania National Guard soldiers and airmen have been responding to a wide variety of COVID-19 missions across the Commonwealth since March 2020,” Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, Pennsylvania`s adjutant general and head of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, said. “These missions demonstrate the responsiveness and flexibility of our service members, who continually step up to serve their communities.”

PNG will continue operations in support of long-term care facilities across the Commonwealth in addition to this mission. Around 110 PNG service members are currently activated to assist with staff shortages.

The staffing support teams are a combination of medical providers, medics and general-purpose personnel, the PNG said. The medical personnel assists with non-acute care of patients, such as checking vitals. The general-purpose personnel assists with tasks such as delivering meals and cleaning.

The long-term care facility mission began in April 2020, and since then, the PNG reported they conducted around 140 staffing support missions and provided some form of assistance to more than 130 long-term care facilities.

In all, PNG service members have worked more than 14,500 shifts.

For more information about the PNG, visit their website.

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