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Missouri National Guard is unsung hero in COVID-19 response, governor says

Gov. Mike Parson last week praised the Missouri National Guard for its critical role in the state’s COVID-19 response. National Guard Adjutant Gen. Levon Cumpton said the Guard has staffed 14 state workforce screening sites and has screened more than 541,000 personnel, Missourinet reported.

“We also tested 12,400 Missouri Department of Corrections’ employees, assisted with data entry of more than 80,000 COVID-19 tests and fielded 72,000 phone calls,” he said, adding that the Guard also helped food banks and food pantries serve more than 181,000 meals.

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Cumpton said the Guard’s largest current effort is in support of the state Department of Health and Senior Services, providing 118 service members to support data entry and call center operations, as well as community-based testing efforts.

“Of these 118 service members, 60 are in fact involved in supporting the community-based testing, moving from one location to another across our state at designated areas by Health and Senior Services,” he said.

The Missouri National Guard also has distributed about 288,000 student meals, in partnership with the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Parson praised the Guard for helping to construct and staff an alternate care hospital this spring in Florissant, which is located in north St. Louis County. The governor noted that the site was built in 11 days.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is partnering with the Missouri National Guard and local health departments to offer free COVID-19 testing. The free community testing events are occurring throughout the state and are open to anyone who lives in Missouri. At the testing sites, people will stay in their car and do a self-administered nasal swab, which will then be sent off to a lab for processing. Online registration can speed up the testing process but is not required.

DHSS said Missouri has had 11,170 confirmed COVID cases in the past seven days, out of more than 115,000 tests conducted. Missouri has had 156,696 COVID cases this year, along with 2,582 deaths, according to the DHSS website.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice