MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – More than 150 Wisconsin National Guard members have completed certified nursing assistant training since early January, Gov. Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Health Service revealed Thursday.
The 154 guardsmen will help bring short-term staffing support to Wisconsin’s hospitals and nursing homes.
According to DHS, the goal was to open up 200 or more hospital beds by the end of February. As of Monday, 226 beds have opened at 17 nursing homes. DHS expects more beds to open up when 56 National Guard personnel get placed this week at six nursing homes across the state.
Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp, Wisconsin’s adjutant general, said he was proud of the service and commitment National Guard members have had over the past two years of the pandemic.
“The citizen soldiers and airmen of the Wisconsin National Guard have answered every call put before them throughout the pandemic,” Maj. Gen. Knapp said. “Once again, they’re making our state proud and demonstrating their agility and ability to adapt to any mission the state asks us to complete.”
DHS noted that at the height of the Omicron COVID-19 variant surge, the seven-day rolling average for new COVID-19 cases climbed to more than 15,000 cases per day. This also sent a record number of Wisconsinites with the virus to the hospital.
Since then, two months later, the hospitalizations and seven-day rolling average are declining.
“I am proud to announce that because of the Wisconsin National Guard and its volunteer members who stepped up to be trained as CNAs, we have met and surpassed our goal of the number of nursing home beds we expected to open up,” Evers said. “The Wisconsin National Guard continues to be an invaluable partner and one who continues to provide resources that meet our current needs.”
The effort is part of a collaboration with the Evers Administration, Madison College and Wisconsin National Guard.
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