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Indiana National Guard sending 1,350 guardsmen to help Indiana nursing homes starting Monday

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Posted at 5:07 PM, Oct 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-28 17:07:55-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana National Guard will start deploying guardsmen Monday to 133 nursing homes throughout the state that have been hardest hit by COVID-19.

The guard will help long term care facilities with testing and registration, infection control and monitoring, visitor screening and wellness checks, and other tasks that will allow employees to focus on patient care.

The goal is to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Indiana nursing homes, which have been hit hard by the virus— 2,309 deaths have been tied to nursing homes, making up 58% of the state’s total deaths, yet only 6% of positive cases.

399 Indiana National Guardsmen will work in 133 long term care facilities starting on Monday.

That will be expanded to 750 guardsmen on Nov. 9 at 250 nursing homes, and eventually, expand to 1,350 guardsmen at all of the state’s 534 long term care facilities, records show.

"Indiana National Guard troops are well trained and ready to assist with keeping long term care facility residents and staff protected during this health crisis, just as we do during other times of domestic emergencies,” said Indiana National Guard Adjutant General, Brig. Gen. Dale Lyles.

National guardsmen are getting training this week at Camp Atterbury.

They will also get tested for COVID-19 before they are placed in long term care facilities, and will be provided PPE including gowns, goggles, and N95 masks.

The plan is to continue the deployment through at least Dec. 31, Lyles said.