LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Gov. Steve Sisolak activated the Nevada National Guard on Wednesday in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sisolak said the activation is to help deliver medical supplies.
"By activating today, Nevada will be able to pursue federal funding to the Nevada National Guard’s mission in this COVID-19 crisis. But most importantly, as this global pandemic continues to impact our state, this activation means that Nevada has the best of the best running our statewide response operation – and you and your families deserve nothing less," Sisolak said.
The Guard is activated to assist with logistics, transportation and personnel, according to Adjutant General Ondra Berry, who spoke alongside the governor in Reno on Wednesday.
WATCH THE FULL ANNOUNCEMENT HERE:
About 100 National Guard Soldiers and Airmen will join the 17,000 National Guard members already active across the nation. They will work under Sisolak's direction, while compensation comes from federal funds.
The announcement followed Sisolak's formal "stay at home" order, now extended in Nevada through April 30. He acknowledged that as of Wednesday, 1,200 Nevadans had tested positive for COVID-19 and 32 people have died.
"Between 6 and 20 percent of Nevada’s COVID-19 patients are requiring hospitalization. Of these cases, 74 percent are admitted to the ICU and 44 percent require a ventilator," Sisolak said.
Berry said the biggest job will be moving supplies through the state, including protective equipment. Guard members may also work alongside critical care workers.
"These are the first Nevada Guardsmen called upon to contribute to the response effort. The military occupations of the Soldiers and Airmen have not been finalized, but it is likely the governor will call upon Guardsmen trained for medical, security, transportation, logistical and food services," according to a statement from the Nevada National Guard.
The soldiers and airmen will be split evenly across Southern and Northern Nevada.
"The purpose is not to cite people with misdemeanors, fines (for people violating "stay at home" order). Our law enforcement is busy. I am asking, begging you to stay home to flatten the curve," Sisolak said.
Typical duties of the National Guard include "working to increase medical capacity; providing security at testing sites; managing food banks; delivering food and critical supplies; and disinfecting public spaces."
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