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    Nevada Guard enters final stages in battle against coronavirus

    Nevada Guard enters final stages in battle against coronavirus

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Ryan Getsie | Spc. Dulce Alaniz with Joint Task Force 17 prepares to administer the one-shot Janseen...... read more read more

    LAS VEGAS, NV, UNITED STATES

    06.15.2021

    Story by Staff Sgt. Ryan Getsie 

    17th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs Section

    LAS VEGAS – Over the last 16 months, Nevada Guard Soldiers and Airmen have been fighting on the frontlines against this pandemic. The Guard will be entering the final stages of the cessation of their forces over the next month as both coronavirus cases and deaths hit an all time low in the Silver State.

    The number of Guardsmen working coronavirus missions in Nevada will decrease dramatically within the coming weeks. Joint Task Force 17 will be retaining 78 Soldiers and Airmen on July 7 while releasing the remaining 140. Task Force 422 will draw down to 69 personnel from their original 158. The total number of Guard members statewide will be under 150 by the end of July. The state expects to have the Task Force completely wrap up all operations by Sept. 30, if not sooner. The massive vaccine distribution effort since January also played an influencing role in this downsizing.

    “This was the largest call up of our Guard forces in state history,” JTF 17 Executive Officer Maj. Jon Minnich said. “The amount of coordination involved between the different agencies to fight this pandemic was tremendous.”

    The city of Las Vegas will conduct a final large-scale vaccination effort at Allegiant Stadium beginning June 10-13 and again through the 17-20 in an attempt to get as many people inoculated as possible. Over 45 Guardsmen will assist the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) and they will be in operation from 2:00 – 8:00 p.m. during the two four-day events.

    “I had the opportunity to walk through Allegiant and it’s a beautiful venue,” Minnich said. “It’ll be well worth the experience for people to come here and get vaccinated. I can’t think of a better way to kick off a new start to a new season.”

    The SNHD saw the most coronavirus cases in the entire state, especially considering that the population of the Las Vegas area is over 2.6 million people. Clark County alone had over 253,297 cases, 16,676 hospitalizations, and 4,428 total deaths from the pandemic. The entire Silver State had a total of 327,579 cases with 5,626 fatalities.

    Since the vaccination effort began in Jan. 2020, the SNHD reported over 1,807,000 doses administered. That’s over 45% of the total southern Nevada population that’s received the vaccine at the time of this writing.

    Guard forces have assisted in administering over 770,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine throughout the state; over 540,000 inoculations were given just in Clark County. For over six months, the Guard has helped manage several Points of Distribution (POD’s) in collaboration with both the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the SNHD. Locations ranged from senior centers to elementary schools throughout the valley.

    In April of 2021 the state launched the Mobile Vaccination Unit (MVU) that was comprised of Nevada Guardsmen and multiple partners to assist in vaccinating rural Nevadans. The MVU’s goal was to help facilitate equitable access to the life saving vaccine in these small towns.

    Southern Nevada Task Forces kicked off an almost two month long MVU mission at the Las Vegas Paiute Indian Tribe on Apr. 6, then followed with the towns of Pahrump, Beatty, Goldfield, Tonopah, Round Mountain, Alamo, Panaca, Ely, Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribe, Dyer, and wrapped up operations in the southern most town of Laughlin.

    “I was glad to be out here helping our rural friends,” Sgt. Daniel Sheahan said. “This mission had us focused on providing access to this vaccine.”

    JTF 17 also helped test over 640,000 southern Nevada residents over the course of a year; meanwhile northern forces reached 85,000 tested. This included pop up community-based collection sites throughout the state, and in rural hotspots.

    In addition to vaccines and testing, the Nevada Guard has aided in managing and distributing millions of personal protective equipment (PPE) items. JTF 17 staff reports 5,394,265 PPE items distributed, 3,470 pallets prepared at the warehouse, and over 1,300 miles driven for supply drops in Clark County and surrounding areas.

    The fight didn’t end there. Soldiers and Airmen also made over 39,000 calls supporting health district tracing investigation teams, and Guardsmen distributed over 800,000 meals in partnership with Three Square last year during the height of the pandemic.

    “Our Soldiers and Airmen helped save lives during this pandemic,” said Land Component Commander Col. Troy Armstrong. “Your selfless service, tireless efforts, and willingness to place yourself in harms way to save lives and protect our community is an inspiration to all of us. We will never forget your courageous actions.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 06.15.2021
    Date Posted: 06.15.2021 21:14
    Story ID: 399012
    Location: LAS VEGAS, NV, US 

    Web Views: 87
    Downloads: 0

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