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    Florida National Guard supports the Department of Health with long term care facility COVID-19 testing

    Florida National Guard supports the Department of Health with long term care facility COVID-19 testing

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Leia Tascarini | Florida National Guard Maj. Jacqueline S. Zuluaga, 256th Medical Company Area Support...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Leia Tascarini 

    107th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.- The Florida National Guard has taken on several important roles during the COVID-19 response. Their newest role is facilitating long term care (LTC) facility COVID-19 testing with the support of the U.S Public Health Service, Florida Department of Health, County Health Departments and other partner agencies.

    Soldiers from the 256th Medical Area Support Company (MCAS) and 356th Quartermaster Company (QC) are assisting local authorities to meet the state’s mandate to test all staff at LTC facilities. Soldiers are making phone calls to LTC’s to schedule appointments for local testing teams to go to each site and provide COVID-19 testing to staff and residents.

    “We are staffed with nine Soldiers who are making over 100 outbound calls a day to long term care facilities to schedule COVID-19 testing,” said Army Maj. Jacqueline S. Zuluaga, 256th MCAS company commander. “This is a very professional group and I am proud to be working with them."

    The 256th MCAS has been instrumental in providing medical best practices and guidance to other units in South Florida, and its Soldiers have served as subject matter experts to Soldiers from other brigades who are also conducting missions in different parts of Florida. In support of the COVID-19 response, the 256th designed and developed a detailed MTT and Mobile Testing Group (MTG T3) training program.

    Local authorities have used the 256th standard operating procedures, mission essential tasks and other guidance during the COVID-19 response. In addition to training personnel and Soldiers, the 256th also helped develop the standard operating procedures for CBTS, MTT and walk-up test site operations in South Florida.

    “Working with the National Guard has been great; they help us out wherever we need whether it’s building PPE kits or making phone calls,” said Mike Hassell, Deputy Incident Commander and Safety Officer of Region 7. “It’s all hands-on deck and we are supporting one another to ensure the mission is a success.”

    The Florida National Guard has more than 2,100 Guardsmen on duty in support of Florida’s COVID-19 response. Soldiers and Airmen are currently operating 28 Community Based Testing Sites locations, and have administered over 192,000 sample collections to date at those sites. In addition, the Guard is supporting the Florida Department of Health’s screening operations at seven Florida airports.



    Date Taken: 05.21.2020
    Date Posted: 05.21.2020 15:21
    Story ID: 370527
    Location: FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, US 

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