NEW ORLEANS – The Louisiana National Guard, directed by Gov. John Bel Edwards, has activated over 300 Soldiers and Airmen to assist with the COVID-19 response.
More than 100 Soldiers and Airmen are stationed at three sites in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes to assist local agencies with COVID-19 testing and traffic control. The drive-through sites opened March 20 to test 100 first responders and health care workers who have COVID-19 symptoms at each New Orleans location.
“It has been a great working relationship with Orleans Parish while assisting their tireless efforts to get these sites up and running,” said Col. Scott Desormeaux, the 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team commander leading the LANG’s efforts in the community testing sites in New Orleans.“As this is the first day conducting these sites, our goal today is to become more efficient to reduce wait times for people being tested and to ensure the public’s privacy as best we can.”
The Louisiana National Guard has mobilized Guard members throughout the state to support current operations, including medical support, engineering assessment support, shelter security, traffic control point and drive-through testing site support and to provide liaison officer teams to Parish Emergency Operations Centers.
To assist civil authorities, the LANG is ensuring the health and safety of its Soldiers and Airmen by limiting travel, enforcing CDC-recommended hygiene measures, and monitoring Guard members' temperature and health.