Idaho Guard Again Called to Help with COVID-19 Response
BOISE, Idaho (KLIX)-The governor has activated the Idaho National Guard to help hospitals and the Idaho Department of Correction with COVID-19 response. Gov. Brad Little announced Monday morning he is deploying 75 soldiers to help Primary Health Group and IDOC as they are experiencing staffing shortages due to COVID-19 illness. The governor also contracted another 503 personnel to help state hospitals and clinics currently overwhelmed by the coronavirus. “I am proud of our men and women of the Idaho National Guard who have stepped up time and again to help our state and communities get through an unprecedented, challenging time. The strain on healthcare, schools, business, and government from the spread of COVID-19 is a reminder that we are not out of the pandemic, and we need to be vigilant about keeping ourselves and our loved ones healthy,” Governor Little said in a prepared statement. This is the fourth time since the COVID-19 pandemic hit that the Idaho Guard has been deployed to help in various capacities. According to IDOC, there are 201 staff members out sick or who came in close contact with someone who is sick. At this time Idaho Guard personnel will help at the South Boise Correctional Complex with perimeter patrols, check on prisoners, conduct COVID-19 tests, and other duties. Guardsmen may be sent to other facilities in the state if needed. There are currently 7,200 people incarcerated in the IDOC system; the nine prisons and four community reentry centers. Another 1,556 people are housed in county jails or the two private correctional facilities.