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Idaho National Guard waiting for COVID-19 calls for help

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BOISE, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - In response to Idaho's rapidly rising COVID-19 hospitalizations, Gov. Brad Little activated the Idaho National Guard on Friday.

During his press conference where he moved Idaho into a modified stage two, Little also mobilized 100 members of the guard.

The executive order acts as a notice for the guard to prepare to be called to hospitals and long-term care facilities across the state.

“The services we provide, that we’re anticipating, is alleviating those things we could be doing, to free up those providers to take care of specific medical tasks,” said guard spokesperson Lt. Col. Chris Borders.

The guard will likely be assisting with testing, screening and facility decontamination. As Idaho hospitals inch closer to capacity, extra hands doing menial, time consuming tasks may help health care providers on the front lines.

Currently, the guard is setting up a task force to prepare for any requests for emergency service.

“Setting up a task force like this allows us to be a little bit more capable of handling multiple, simultaneous short notice requests,” Borders said.

Public health districts can make a request to the Idaho Office of Emergency Management, which will assess the request and determine whether to send the guard or another available resource.

The guard will be mobilized for 30 days, unless Gov. Little extends or rescinds the order.

“This pandemic is different, but the principle remains the same. We’re here to support the state, to provide that emergency response capability that we’re charged with maintaining,” Borders said.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus Coverage

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Emma Iannacone

Emma is a reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.


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