MADISON, Wis. – Eleven specimen collection teams from the Wisconsin National Guard are supporting state and local health departments to increase COVID-19 testing across Wisconsin.
The teams, comprised of more than 300 Soldiers and Airmen, established mobile testing sites at correctional facilities and health clinics, private businesses and community-based testing sites.
As of May 3, Wisconsin National Guard teams had collected almost 6,250 specimens statewide.
The Wisconsin National Guard has fulfilled a variety of roles across the state since its response to the COVID-19 pandemic began after a Gov. Tony Evers declared a public health emergency March 12.
Twenty Citizen-Soldiers are assisting the Wisconsin Department of Health Services at a state warehouse receiving personal protective equipment (PPE) shipments from around the state, repackaging them, and redistributing them to areas in need.
Teams of 12 troops are serving as medical and administrative staff at two state-run voluntary self-isolation facilities in Milwaukee and Madison, while another 30 are serving at a Milwaukee County-run self-isolation facility.
Another Guard team is supporting the Dane County Coroner’s Office with mortuary affairs.
Missions completed by the Wisconsin Guard include assisting a senior living facility in Grafton with six medics for three days after a COVID-19 outbreak resulted in a staff shortage.
More than 2,400 Citizen-Soldiers and -Airmen mobilized to support the Wisconsin Elections Commission during the April 7 election, serving as poll workers across 71 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties. Guard troops also procured and distributed hand sanitizer, wipes, spray bottles and PPE to polling sites statewide in advance of the election.
Guard members also transported a group of Wisconsin citizens returning from a cruise ship with confirmed COVID-19 cases back to their homes in mid-March after a weeks-long ordeal.
More than 1,000 members of the Wisconsin National Guard are supporting the state’s response to COVID-19, part of a nationwide National Guard force of more than 46,800 in the fight against the disease.