Colorado National Guard assists state with COVID-19 testing at long-term care facilities

Colorado News

Expanded rapid testing should be a major part of the national strategy to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control in the United States, a bipartisan group of legislators said today. (AP file photo)

CENTENNIAL, Colo. – By order of Gov. Jared Polis, the Colorado National Guard is assisting the State Emergency Operations Center and the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment with COVID-19 testing at long-term care facilities in multiple Colorado communities.

Nearly 70 Colorado Army National Guard Soldiers from the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield explosive Enhanced Response Force Package, based at Buckley Air Force Base, Aurora, Colorado, will test approximately 300 patients and staff members at sites in Adams, Broomfield, and El Paso Counties, in order to stop the spread of the virus to these facilities.

“Our Colorado National Guard warriors are trained and equipped to the fight the war on COVID-19,” The Adjutant General of Colorado U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Mike Loh said. “They are providing necessary capability and capacity to help our local and state partners to save lives in senior care facilities across our state.”

The testing schedule is:
– Sunday, April 19, Pike Peak Center in El Paso County
– Tuesday, April 21, Elms Haven Center in Adams County
– Thursday, April 23, Leroy Baker Broomfield Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Broomfield County

More than 250 Colorado National Guard members are currently mobilized to help the State Emergency Operations Center and the City and County of Denver to shelter people in Denver experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 outbreak.  25 additional CONG members will activate to support the mission April 20.

About 50 Soldiers are assisting the state and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to convert the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado, into a 600 bed medical shelter.  The Soldiers began assisting with warehouse operations such as tracking, inventory, and unloading equipment April 15.

The CONG is also providing planners to support local emergency operation centers in other Colorado communities that the state has designated.

All CONG members have been medically screened and are on Title 32 federally funded orders under state control.

Approximately 30 Soldiers and Airmen continue to serve in their full-time roles supporting the CONG operation from Joint Force Headquarters in Centennial, Colorado.

Our priorities are to protect our force and families and all Americans, and maintain our wartime readiness while supporting our local, state, and federal partners to prevent the spread of the disease and save lives.

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