Governor’s Update - January 19

CHARLESTONGov. Jim Justice and members of the West Virginia COVID-19 pandemic response leadership team held another news briefing to update the public on the State’s latest pandemic response efforts.

Governor, National Guard leadership update efforts to provide hospitals with staffin support

During Wednesday’s briefing, Gov. Justice was joined by West Virginia National Guard Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Bill Crane, who announced that hundreds of Guard soldiers either have already been or will be training to provide staffing support to hospitals throughout the state.

Last week, Gov. Justice directed his Joint Interagency Task Force and his COVID-19 pandemic leadership team to immediately begin reviewing and approving requests from West Virginia hospitals for staffing support, which is being provided by the Guard.

“Our National Guard is doing all kinds of great work backing up our hospitals to make sure that they are fully operational,” Gov. Justice said. “We commend them for all they’re doing to support our pandemic response every day.”

“At the governor’s direction, we quickly established a plan to support our West Virginia health care systems by augmenting them with service members from the National Guard, providing much-needed assistance for frontline workers in our hospitals,” Crane said. “We’ve been working with the JIATF and the Health Care Association to make sure we’re meeting all needs at this time.”

To date, the WVNG has received requests for support from 15 hospitals across the state.

The WVNG began providing support at Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC) with 25 Guardsmen and women Wednesday.

“We have about 180 other folks going to Camp Dawson – they’re already moving to get ahead of the weather – and we will have them trained up by the 23rd of January,” Crane continued. “Once we have them trained up, we will be able to meet the needs of all the hospitals that have requested help so far.

“At the governor’s direction, we will continue to train additional folks, getting up to 350 service members trained up for this mission as we continue to do additional missions as well, such as delivering vaccinations and personal protective equipment, administering tests and vaccinations, and supporting our local health departments.”