Blanca Martinez, left, receives a shot from Nevada National Guard PFC Alicia Vavona during a pr ...

Pandemic support from Nevada National Guard ends — for now

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The Nevada National Guard’s role in supporting the state’s COVID-19 response will come to a close on April 1, exactly two years after it began.

Members administered hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 tests and vaccinations across the state, among other duties, in what became the largest emergency response in Nevada Guard history,

“What we’ve learned is that people step up when the call comes,” said Col. Brett Compston, director of joint domestic operations for the Nevada Guard. “This is probably the greatest crisis we’ve faced in the last 100 years other than World War II, if you exclude the current world situation.

“And every Guard member that was asked to step up did step up,” Compston said during an online briefing on the state’s pandemic response. “We had more volunteers than we had actual work to do.”

At the peak in April 2020, 1,139 members of the Nevada Guard were on orders to assist the state, said 1st. Lt. Emerson Marcus. In total, more than 1,400 Nevada Guard members supported the state’s pandemic response. It has been the lengthiest state activation in history, with personnel remaining on orders for more than 700 days.

In addition to directly administering 831,227 COVID-19 tests and 818,661 vaccinations, Guard personnel handled traffic control and administrative paperwork at 85 mobile and stationary sites in urban, rural and tribal areas across across the state, said Emerson, a public affairs officer. Altogether, they supported efforts to test 2.5 million Nevadans and vaccinate 2.9 million.

The Nevada Guard also transported nearly 4 million pounds of personal protective equipment in the state and supported seven warehouse and distribution centers. Personnel assisted at five food distribution sites and with sanitation at alternate care facilities. They helped with meal delivery, bilingual contact tracing and data processing, among other duties.

“And I can’t emphasize this enough that the Nevada Guard remains ready and able to assist the residents of our state when called upon again, if they do need to be called upon again,” Marcus said.

During the past two years, the Nevada Guard, which has 4,400 members, also conducted seven federal overseas deployments and responded to civil unrest in Nevada and at the U.S. Capitol.

Contact Mary Hynes at [email protected] or 702-383-0336. Follow @MaryHynes1 on Twitter.

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