Utah National Guard ends COVID-19 Joint Task Force
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah National Guard announced it would end its COVID-19 Joint Task Force today. The task force was activated in March of 2020.
The end of the task forces comes after Gov. Spencer Cox announced Utah’s COVID-19 response would transition to a “Steady State” by the end of March.
The Guard said it will stop its support as the Utah healthcare system continues to provide testing sites and treatments in hospitals and urgent care centers.
“We can’t thank them enough for their professionalism helping with the state’s COVID-19 response, from testing to vaccinations to facilities. We salute them for a job well done,” said Cox.
Cox continued the COVID-19 Joint Task Force after his predecessor Gary Herbert activated it at the onset of the pandemic.
The Guard said the COVID-19 mission is one of the longest domestic support missions in its history. The Guard used 142,000 man-hours total, activating 700 soldiers and airmen to support the task force.
It released its accomplishments over the past two years:
- 207,198 vaccinations,
- 460,387 tests,
- 3,974 monoclonal infusions,
- 5,830 cases closed with contact tracing,
- About 67 million items of PPE were processed.
“The Utah National Guard has learned and grown from our engagements with our state and county partners in the state’s response to the COVID pandemic. It has been an honor to work alongside the emergency managers and local health departments to serve the citizens of Utah,” said Brig. Gen. Darwin Craig, director of joint staff for the Utah National Guard.
Utah Department of Health Executive Director Nate Checketts said the Guard had worked side-by-side with the Utah healthcare system throughout the challenges brought on by the pandemic.
“Guard members have answered phones, swabbed noses, stocked PPE, and performed hundreds of other tasks to keep our state and local responses up and running. As their mission comes to an end, the UDOH expresses the strongest appreciation for their dedicated service and assistance during this time,” Checketts said.
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