The large force is needed, in part, to help train the soldiers. Most deployments to facilities will involve up to five soldiers.
The announcement Tuesday expands the governor’s use of the National Guard to assist medical facilities. On Friday, he announced roughly a dozen deployments of guard medical teams to various hospitals across the state.
The guard has been assisting since last week in Albany at Phoebe Putney Medical Center — the largest hospital in southwest Georgia, which is the state’s current coronavirus hotspot. The guard also has been assisting PruittHealth Palmyra, one of the nursing homes in the area that’s been dealing with an outbreak. On Tuesday, the local coroner confirmed that at least four residents at the facility died from the virus.
Kemp said the guard deployment is designed to take pressure off the state’s health system during this critical time.
“If we can keep these populations as healthy as possible, we will be able to conserve precious medical supplies and hospital bed space in the coming days and weeks,” he said.
Tony Marshall, president/CEO of the Georgia Health Care Association, said the help from the National Guard will be welcome relief.
“This support is critical, as it will help to supplement staffing and infection prevention efforts,” he said. “Such assistance is especially needed as a large number of center staff across the state are being required to self-quarantine until testing for the virus can be completed.”