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More Kansas Guardsmen will be called up in near future for COVID-19 response

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Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 6:34 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - More Kansas guardsmen are likely to be called up to help with the state’s COVID-19 response.

The state’s emergency operations center is preparing for the increase of vaccinations in the state. In the coming weeks. This is day 316 of their response. The news came from Major General David Weishaar during the governor’s conference call with elected officials from across the state today.

Currently, just 29 guardsmen are on active duty related to COVID-19.

“The Biden admin has said it will cover 100% of the National Guard costs through this public health emergency,” General Weishaar said. “So, we’re looking at where can we use them for vaccination distribution courier support or potential administrative support.”

The emergency operations center has helped coordinate the response of KDHE, the Kansas Highway Patrol and Civil Air Patrol to deliver PPE, lab supplies, ventilators, and vaccines across the state. In fact, they’ve delivered more than 1,700 hundred cases of PPE across the state as they’ve responded to more than 80 requests for assistance.

Right now, the situation is still fluid, and they don’t know when or how many more guardsmen will be called to active duty. Currently, 300 Kansas guardsmen as serving to help protect the Capitol in

Medical gloves still remain a major source of concern. Most of the supply in Kansas is already in medical facilities, and the general says there are not many days of supply left. Their requests for more are currently being denied, and they’re scrambling to figure out how to get more.

In addition to covid, the state’s emergency operations center has had a lot on their plate as of late. They’ve dealt with wildland fires, a winter storm with blizzard conditions, a dust storm in western Kansas and also provided support for potential civil unrest at the Statehouse.

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