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TAG Line April 24, 2020

Spc. Nicholas Holly, 816th Military Police Company and CoryAnn Patterson, Mid Dakota Clinic, collect information at the mobile testing station on April 21 on the Spirit Lake Reservation. Participants have their basic information collected while undergoing a brief health assessment before the COVID-19 test is administered.

Mobile Testing in Spirit Lake

Members of the N.D. National Guard, in support of the N.D. Department of Health, continue to partner with tribal nations in support of mobile COVID-19 testing. On April 21, almost 300 tests were administered at Cankdeska Cikana Community College in Fort Totten on the Spirit Lake Reservation. This week, the Guard added a second testing team in order to support additional mobile testing capability.

Soldiers from the 816th Military Police Company assist state and local healthcare personnel at the COVID-19 mobile testing at Cankdeska Cikana Community College in Fort Totten on April 21.

Spc. LaDora Schmidt (right), 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment, and Staff Sgt. David Hathaway, 188th Army Band, verify information on the COVID-19 test kit at the mobile testing sit at Cankdeska Cikana Community College in Fort Totten on April 21.

Pulmonary and Airway Support Training

On Saturday, April 18, about 20 Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen of the N.D. National Guard received specialized respiratory training from the CHI St. Alexius Health staff in Bismarck. The training's focus was to enable Guard members to aid respiratory therapists if needed during COVID-19 response. Sgt. Michael Werner explains why this training is vital in this video.

Maj. Jamie Kleinknecht (left), State Medical Detachment opens an airway on a simulated patient during respiratory training from CHI St. Alexius Health staff in Bismarck on April 18. N.D. Guard members received this training in order to aid respiratory therapists if needed while responding to COVID-19.

Staff Sgt. Misty Poitra, 119th Medical Group, checks a breathing tube on a simulated patient during training led by CHI St. Alexius Health staff on April 18 in Bismarck.

Sgt. Michael Werner, State Medical Detachment, receives training on a ventilator machine from a CHI St. Alexius Health staff member on April 18.

Senior Airman Abby Swanson, 119th Medical Group, simulates bag breathing for a patient during training led by CHI St. Alexius Health on April 18 in Bismarck.

Senior Airman Abby Swanson, 119th Medical Group, checks the simulated patient's heartbeat during training conducted by CHI St. Alexius Health staff on April 18 in Bismarck.

State Lab Support

Soldiers and Airmen of the N.D. National Guard continue to support the N.D. Department of Health's (NDDoH) microbiology lab in Bismarck in support of the state's COVID-19 response. Maj. Aaron Norgaard, 81st Civil Support, leads the Guard members at the lab while simultaneously serving as the Guard’s liaison to the NDDoH. National Guard members are involved in all phases of COVID-19 testing. They perform a myriad of tasks, from logging and tracking in-coming specimens, to preparing specimens for testing. They operate the testing machines and destroying specimens after testing is completed. They are also involved in developing statistics and graphs to aid decision makers. Currently, there are about 25 Guard members working at the lab that is operating 24 hours a day processing 1,100 test specimens daily. By the end of the month the goal is to increase testing capacity to 1,800 specimens per day.

Staff Sgt. Adam Ellington, 3662nd Service Maintenance Company, tracks incoming COVID-19 test specimens at the N.D. Department of Health lab on April 23.

Staff Sgt. Matt Cove, Battery A, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, transfers COVID-19 testing specimens from the collection vials to the testing tubes on April 23 at the N.D. Department of Health's lab.

Master Sgt. Ben Ehrichs, 119th Medical Group, performs the final quality control check on the COVID-19 specimens that have completed testing on April 23. He double-checks that the positive and negative results are properly annotated and associated with the proper test subject before specimens are destroyed.
Sgt. Scott Santen, Battery B, 1-188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, develops statistics associated with the COVID-19 virus testing at the N.D. Department of Health lab on April 23. Santen, an industry analyst in his civilian job, processes and analyses testing data, which allows him to develop models improving lab efficiency and predicting future lab capability.

N.D. Guard Soldiers Support Grand Forks Testing

The N.D. National Guard participated in a whole of community approach by supporting mobile COVID-19 testing at Alerus Center in Grand Forks on April 23. Approximately 700 people were tested in five hours. The Guard continues to partner with the N.D. Dept of Health (NDDoH) and other civilian agencies in Operation Drive-In. This week, the N.D. National Guard added a second mobile testing team.

N.D. National Guard Soldiers Spc. Konner Elliott, (left) and Spc. Kimberly Ness gather information from motorists participating COVID-19 mobile testing in the parking lot of the Alerus Center in Grand Forks on April 23.

Maj. Preston Schaffner, (left) 81st Civil Support Team and Julie Hardy, a registered nurse with the N.D. Department of Public Health, collect a COVID-19 testing swab in Grand Forks on April 23. They are wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) to stay safe while they work to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.
Spc. Aaron Kanter (middle), and Spc. Richie Delgado, both of the 191st Military Police Company, gather information from motorists participating in COVID-19 mobile testing in Grand Forks on April 23.

Senior Airman Kayla Dalquist, of the 119th Medical Group (right) prepares to administer a COVID-19 testing swab in the parking lot of the Alerus Center in Grand Forks on April 23. Dalquist is wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) to stay safe while Guardsmen work to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.

Spc. Joshua Klemen, of the 191st Military Police Company, collects information from a COVID-19 rapid testing participant in Grand Forks on April 23. Master Sgt. Mike Knodle, 119th Wing holds the information sheet passed out to participants during the mobile testing.

State Active Duty

Senior Airman Abagail Swanson, of the 119th Medical Group, completes paperwork during in-processing for state active duty in support of state COVID-19 response activities at the N.D. Air National Guard Base in Fargo on April 22. N.D. National Guard members are responding to support the state COVID-19 testing activities in various towns and cities in support of the N.D. Department of Health.

Health Assessment at Fraine Barracks

Fraine Barracks in Bismarck, is not only the home of the N.D. National Guard but the N.D. Department of Emergency Services (NDDES) as well. The NDDES hosts the state's 911 emergency call operators and the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC). As a result, Fraine Barracks is a busy facility despite many individuals from both organizations working from home during this COVID-19 pandemic. To help prevent the spread of the virus and for the protection of all the workers, all individuals undergo a daily heath screening prior to entering facilities.

Spc. Samuel Zezeus, State Medical Detachment, checks the temperature of Spc. Krystal Anderson, 116th Public Affairs Detachment, during a heath screening on April 23. Each individual must undergoes this screening prior to entering any of the facilities on Fraine Barracks.

Spc. Samuel Zezeus sanitizes his thermometer between uses on April 23. Each individual must undergoes health screening prior to entering any of the facilities on Fraine Barracks.

For More Information

For more information on the state response to COVID-19 check the NDResponse.gov and the N.D. Department of Health websites.

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