CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The staffing shortage issue at hospitals in West Virginia will be eased by members of the West Virginia National Guard.

37 combat medics will undergo recertification training starting this weekend, per an annual requirement. The WVNG and Governor Justice’s COVID Task Force are looking at potential needs in local hospitals at the governor’s direction.

The WVNG has the authorization to build 600 personnel on the COVID-19 Task Force and is working to identify additional medical assets that can assist if there is a need.

More than 350 personnel will receive training to make sure that the WVNG is ready to deploy to hospitals should the Hospital Association request help. Training will include HIPAA, basic CPR and AED as well as elements of patient care from a military standard.

The WVNG has nearly 500 personnel on federally-activated COVID-19 response orders in the state. They continue to conduct missions such as testing, vaccination distribution, PPE distribution, contact tracing, and sanitation.