The governor says the Missouri National Guard has played a critical role in the COVID-19 response this year.

Missouri National Guard Adjutant General Levon Cumpton briefs Capitol reporters in Jefferson City on October 15, 2020, as Governor Mike Parson listens (photo courtesy of the governor’s Flickr page)

Governor Mike Parson invited National Guard Adjutant General Levon Cumpton to Thursday’s media briefing in Jefferson City, to update Capitol reporters on the work the Guard is doing. General Cumpon says the Guard has staffed 14 state workforce screening sites and has screened more than 541,000 personnel.

“We also tested 12,400 Missouri Department of Corrections’ employees, assisted with data entry of more than 80,000 COVID-19 tests, and fielded 72,000 phone calls,” Cumpton says.

General Cumpton says the Guard has also helped food banks and food pantries serve more than 181,000 meals.

He also says the Guard’s largest current effort is in support of the state Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), providing 118 service members to support data entry and call center operations, as well as community-based testing efforts.

“Of these 118 service members, 60 are in fact involved in supporting the community based testing, moving from one location to another across our state at designated areas by Health and Senior Services,” says Cumpton.

He says the Missouri National Guard has also distributed about 288,000 student meals, in partnership with the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

Governor Parson praises the Guard for helping to construct and staff an alternate care hospital this spring in Florissant, which is located in north St. Louis County. The governor notes that site was built in 11 days.

The Missouri National Guard is part of the state Department of Public Safety (DPS).

DHSS says Missouri has had 11,170 confirmed COVID cases in the past seven days, out of more than 115,000 tests conducted.

Missouri has had 156,696 COVID cases this year, along with 2,582 deaths, according to the DHSS website.

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