Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Tuesday, Aug. 4 that hundreds of Nevada national guardsmen will remain on duty for the remainder of 2020 in support of the state’s COVID-19 response.
The extension of the guardsmen through December will provide personnel for community-based testing, contact tracing, laboratory and logistical support operations, food distribution and staff in the state emergency operations center, the governor said. Funding will be split with 25 percent of the funds from the state and 75 percent from federal accounts.
“Our soldiers and airmen have played a vital role in Nevada’s response to COVID-19, and this extension enables us to continue to take aggressive action to maintain testing sites, stage and distribute medical supplies and position the state to transition to a regional reopening of the economy,” Sisolak said. “While I am grateful for the extension, the decision to federally fund Guard activities at 75 percent leaves Nevada and other states with an additional cost at a time when Nevada’s budget has been decimated due to COVID-19.
“As governor, I will continue to advocate to bring in more federal funds to help Nevada’s ongoing response efforts.”
The high watermark of Nevada guardsmen on duty for the state’s pandemic response was 1,151 on April 24, making the coronavirus response the largest state activation in history. The Nevada Guard includes about 4,400 soldiers and airmen.
Since April, the Nevada National Guard established four ongoing community-based sample collection sites and staffed 24 mobile sample collection teams around rural Nevada. Ten of the mobile teams traveled to Native American communities throughout the state. Guard soldiers and airmen also maintained the state’s strategic stockpile and warehouses throughout Nevada.