Indiana National Guard to begin training for nursing home COVID-19 assistance

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Indiana National Guard will begin training members to help in long-term care facilities Friday morning.

About 400 guardsmen and women will train at Camp Atterbury in Edinburgh, Indiana to control the spread of COVID-19.

Governor Holcomb said the National Guard will start will long-term care facilities that have had registered outbreaks or just one case of COVID-19.

Holcomb believes this work will help everyone as the hospitalization rate has risen in just a few weeks.

The hospital capacity is one of the four key metrics for keeping the state open.

Nursing home physician and researcher at Regenstrief Institute in Indianapolis Dr. Kathleen Unroe said nursing home staff are overwhelmed with responsibilities above their normal tasks.

“From data entry and recording for all of that data we need to track in this setting, to cleaning all the services or when the dining room shuts down and everyone needs meals in their room,” Dr. Unroe said. “The whole strain on the staff has really increased over these last months and the National Guard providing human resources into facilities to support that day to day care.”

Some of the National Guard’s tasks will cover coronavirus testing, reporting test results and screening employees. Nursing homes have seen more than 58% of all pandemic-related deaths across Indiana.