More than 100 Georgia National Guardsmen will be activated and deployed to any long-term care facility — nursing homes or assisted living facilities — in the state with confirmed coronavirus cases, Gov. Brian Kemp’s office announced Tuesday, March 31.
The governor and adjutant general will send troops to specific locations to “implement infection control protocols and enhanced sanitation methods to mitigate COVID-19 exposure among vulnerable residents,” according to a news release.
"Georgia's top priority is increasing health care capacity to protect vulnerable Georgians, especially those residing in long-term care facilities," Kemp said. "If we can keep these populations as healthy as possible, we will be able to conserve precious medical supplies and hospital bed space in the coming days and weeks."
"The Georgia National Guard stands ready to assist any long-term care facility in this time of need through staff training and implementation of infectious disease control measures," added Adjutant General Tom Carden. "Our training has prepared us to fight this virus, and we are eager to lend a hand in this battle."
According to the release, 20 troops were sent to a nursing home in Pelham, located in southwest Georgia, which has five confirmed cases of COVID-19. The troops were assigned to “audit existing sanitation methods, train staff on utilizing more aggressive infectious disease control measures and thoroughly clean the facility,” the release said.
The governor had already deployed a guard unit to a facility in Albany, which has been one of the main outbreak areas in Georgia during the pandemic.
Most future deployments to specific facilities will only include four or five soldiers, the release said.