FRANKFORT, Ky. (WAVE) - The Kentucky National Guard announced on Tuesday that 50 members have been mobilized to help support long-term care facilities within the commonwealth.
Governor Beshear signed off on the additional assistance across the state due to the increase of COVID-19 cases throughout multiple long-term care facilities.
According to a release from the Ky. National Guard, the 50 service members being sent will be part of 10 different non-clinical support teams spread across the state.
“The Kentucky National Guard is poised to help Long Term Healthcare Facilities across the state who are operating in counties in the red due to COVID-19 saturation,” Lt. Col. Travis Carpenter, Kentucky National Guard Director of Military Support said. “Our professional team of service members will operate within agreed upon constraints to help facility leadership free their current employees up to focus on the residents who call the facilities home.”
Requests for help will come from public health districts to Kentucky’s emergency management office. From there, teams and service members will be sent out to various long-term care facilities to fulfill those requests.
“Currently we’re answering the call for assistance from facilities in Lexington, Louisville, Edmonton, and Hopkinsville,” said Brig Gen. Hal Lamberton, Kentucky’s Adjutant General. “We recognize the need could come from anywhere in the state, and we will adjust our focus and effort as the requests for help arrive.”
Guard members have been utilized in multiple missions across Kentucky since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The current operation is scheduled to continue for at least 30 days.
“We are taking over duties like guest relations, COVID screening, and facility decontamination,” Carpenter said. “These are types of things that we might be able to alleviate from healthcare providers so they can focus on the residents and conduct quality medical and wellness care.”
The mission is one part of many efforts set out by the governor and local health officials. During Monday’s COVID update briefing, Secretary for the Cabinet of Health Eric Friedlander announced facilities would be severely limiting visitation during the holidays as part of new guidelines being released.
For more information on those guidelines, click or tap here.