For Immediate Release
Contact: Scott Oxarart
775.328.2414 or 775.276.1021
Nov. 11, 2020. Reno/Sparks, NV – The Washoe County Health District is publicly thanking the Nevada National Guard for its critical support during the COVID-19 response in Washoe County.
All Guard members supporting the response in Washoe County have the day off Wednesday in observance of Veterans Day. The Washoe County Test Site will be closed.
The Guard has been embedded in the COVID-19 response in Washoe County, which has included seven-day a week operation since March. As many as 100 Guard members have been deployed to help in Washoe County in what has been the largest state activation in Nevada National Guard history. The duties have included:
- Washoe County COVID-19 Test Site: The Guard assisted with overall logistics, traffic flow, registration, security, test administration and sample preservation
- Contact Tracing & Disease Investigation: Interviewed COVID-19 positive residents to limit disease spread, provided critical resources, answered questions and concerns, and assisted with data entry
- COVID-19 Call Center: The first line of contact for many residents, scheduling COVID-19 tests, answering COVID-19-related questions and providing other resources
“The Nevada National Guard has been an absolutely critical part of the COVID-19 response,” Washoe County District Health Officer Kevin Dick said. “The men and women of the Guard integrated with the Health Branch very early on in the pandemic and their commitment never wavered. We’re extremely proud to call them colleagues and thankful for all they’ve done and continue to do.”
The Nevada National Guard is scheduled to come off orders in mid-December and the Health District is working on that transition, though it’s possible orders could be extended at the State and Federal level. No decision has been made.
While hopeful for an extension – as COVID-19 cases, transmission and hospitalizations continue to rise – the Health District is extremely grateful for the countless hours of service done so far and to Governor’s Sisolak’s office for making the Guard available to help.
“The Guard has a ‘Will do anything to help’ mentality and have been an excellent source of support,” said James English, Regional Operations Chief/Health Branch Director, COVID-19 Response. “The Guard knows Incident Command Systems structure inside and out, which allowed for easy integration into our response. They communicate clearly, work around the clock and are used to performing in adverse climates and locations. I cannot thank them enough.”
The Washoe County Health District is nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board and has jurisdiction over all public health matters in Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County through the policy-making Washoe County District Board of Health. The District consists of five divisions: Administrative Health Services, Air Quality Management, Community and Clinical Health Services, Environmental Health Services and Epidemiology & Public Health Preparedness. More info can be found here.