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About Army National Guard

Army National Guard provides services in domestic emergencies, overseas combat missions, counter drug efforts, reconstruction missions, and security for community and country. It is based in Arlington, Virginia.

Army National Guard Headquarter Location

111 S George Mason Dr.

Arlington, Virginia, 22204,

United States

Latest Army National Guard News

National Guard helping with covid-19 testing

Jan 13, 2022

by Janelle Jessen |Today at 1:04 a.m. Chris Ball of Springdale, with the Army National Guard, assists patrons on Wednesday Jan. 12 2022 during drive-up testing at a Mercy clinic near Northwest Arkansas Community College. Go to nwaonline.com/220113Daily/ to see more photos. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff) BENTONVILLE -- Twenty Arkansas National Guard members are deployed in Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley to help with the increased demand for covid-19 testing, according to Lt. Col. William Phillips. The soldiers, part of the 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, are working to take the administrative pressure off health care workers so they can focus on providing care to Arkansans in need, Phillips said. Their initial tour is set for 30 days, but the length of their stay will depend on how long the surge lasts, he said. Arkansas reported a record 10,974 new cases of covid-19 Wednesday, and Benton and Washington counties reported a record 1,715 new cases, according to the Arkansas Department of Health. "My hope is we will see a dramatic decrease in the number of covid cases so these soldiers can go home to their families very quickly," Phillips said. Six National Guard members arrived Monday to help with Mercy's drive-through covid-19 testing site on Southeast 14th Street in Bentonville, according to David Fortner, Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas vice president of operations. "Our staff is overjoyed they are here," he said. The demand for covid-19 testing has increased significantly in recent weeks, Fortner said. On Tuesday, the drive-through site tested a record of more than 500 patients and was on track to test just as many Wednesday, he said. Just a few weeks ago, the site was testing only around 100 patients a day, he said. The testing site is seeing very long lines, and wait times were around two hours Wednesday, although Mercy continues to evaluate operations to make them more efficient, Fortner said. The site is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, though it sometimes closes earlier than 4 p.m. to make sure all the patients in line can be tested. People who have symptoms consistent with covid-19 should seek testing so they can get treatment if necessary, especially those who have a comorbidity that makes it likely they could progress to a more serious illness, Fortner said. Mildly symptomatic people who are otherwise healthy, and who can stay home, may consider quarantining on their own, he said. The site provides PCR -- polymerase chain reaction -- testing and results are typically available in 24 to 36 hours, Fortner said. Tests are available at no expense to patients and appointments are necessary ahead of time, he said. Fortner asked community members to be patient with the situation and the volume of people seeking testing. The test site does have constraints because of the physical space in the parking lot, and there are times it may not be able to accept patients if cars are lined up out to the road, he said. Six National Guard members are also working at Washington Regional's drive-through testing center at 3318 N. Hills Blvd. in Fayetteville, according to Brook Morgan, marketing manager. The soldiers are helping with traffic control and clerical tasks, she said. Drive-through testing is available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. seven days a week, she said. National Guard Spc. Henry Combs of Alma was helping with traffic control and testing at the Mercy site in Bentonville. "People have been thanking us and said they really appreciate what we are doing," he said. Staff Sgt. Nicholas Reed of Conway said assisting with testing has been a positive experience. It feels good to help the Mercy testing site increase the number of patients it can serve, he said. "We are just helping out as much as we can," he said. Jomari Bailey of Conway, with the Army National Guard, administers covid-19 tests on Wednesday Jan. 12 2022 at a Mercy clinic next to Northwest Arkansas Community College. Go to nwaonline.com/220113Daily/ to see more photos. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)        Chris Ball of Springdale, with the Army National Guard, assists patrons on Wednesday Jan. 12 2022 during drive-up testing at a Mercy clinic near Northwest Arkansas Community College. Go to nwaonline.com/220113Daily/ to see more photos. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)

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