Chris Schulz Published

West Virginia National Guard Draws Down COVID Support

0314 Major General William Crane

The West Virginia National Guard completed its hospital support mission on Friday as COVID-19 cases across the state continue to decline.

This is part of a larger draw down of the number of guard members providing support for COVID-19 response in West Virginia. Federal funding is set to run out at the end of the month, although an extension through June is possible.

Sunday marked the two year anniversary of Gov. Jim Justice mobilizing the West Virginia National Guard to assist in COVID-19 preparedness and response.

Since January, more than 300 Guard members provided nonclinical support to dozens of hospitals across the state to alleviate staffing shortages.

Maj. Gen. William Crane took time during Monday’s COVID-19 press briefing to praise the health care workers who worked alongside Guard members.

“It was just real humbling to go through and see what it is that they have been dealing with,” Crane said. “It’s great to see how we can come together, both the hospitals and the guard, because we are so service oriented and do the great work that needed to be done to help support and save lives in West Virginia.”

A job fair will be held this week to help guard members find employment after their service.

“It’s really important as we draw this thing down, as our members are coming off of their COVID orders, to make sure that they have good employment post the pandemic response,” he said. “In some cases, some of them actually say that they may go into the hospitals and want to continue to do some of that work.”