Inside INdiana Business

National Guard to deploy at long-term healthcare facilities

(photo courtesy of the Indiana National Guard)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – At the direction Governor Eric Holcomb, the Indiana National Guard will mobilize teams of guardsmen on Monday to 133 of the state’s facilities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. Brigadier General Dale Lyles, adjutant general for the Indiana National Guard, said during Governor Eric Holcomb’s virtual press conference Wednesday the state is also planning to expand its national guard assistance to all 534 of the state’s long-term care facilities over the next three weeks.

Lyles says the guardsmen will assist with prevention checklists, data entry, staff and visitor screenings and wellness checks at the healthcare facilities through the end of the year. He says the goal of the effort is to give staff at the long-term care centers the ability to focus more on patient care.

According to Lyles, the guardsmen are being trained by medical professionals on proper healthcare procedures at Camp Atterbury in Edinburgh. All guardsmen will be tested and monitored regularly.

Additionally, Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box announced that Indiana is expected to have its first round of COVID-19 vaccines in late November. Box did not disclose the number of vaccines in the first round, but said the supply would be limited and initial rounds will be allocated to healthcare providers and other vulnerable groups.

According to Box, a second round could come in December. Box said it is a “rapidly-developing situation” and doesn’t expect a vaccine to be available for the general public for many months.

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Box noted that nothing has yet been submitted to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, but did say she believes Pfizer is expected to produce the first round of vaccines, a two-dose, ultra-low storage vaccine that must be stored at -70 degrees, while Moderna is expected to produce the second round and will available in December.

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