MADISON, Wis. – Twenty-five specimen collection teams from the Wisconsin National Guard are helping local and state health officials increase the state's COVID-19 testing capacity.
More than 600 Soldiers and Airmen established mobile testing sites at correctional facilities and health clinics, private businesses and community-based testing sites.
As of May 12, Wisconsin National Guard teams had collected nearly 17,849 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 Gov. Tony Evers declared a public health emergency March 12.
About 160 Guard members were serving as poll workers during the May 12 special election in Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District.
In ongoing Guard missions, 20 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.
In addition, 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.
Guard members are supporting the Dane County Coroner's Office with mortuary affairs operations.
Guard members have also completed a number of missions. Six medics augmented the staff at a senior living facility in Grafton for three days after a COVID-19 outbreak caused a temporary staffing shortage.
More than 2,400 Soldiers and Airmen supported the Wisconsin Elections Commission during the April 7 election, serving as poll workers across 71 of Wisconsin's 72 counties.
More than 1,400 members of the Wisconsin National Guard are now serving in direct support of the state's response to COVID-19.