Thousands of COVID tests ordered across states, National Guard to deploy

Posted 10 days ago


As the omicron variant of the coronavirus continues to spread around the U. S., states have mobilized in response.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is deploying 100 members of the state's National Guard to hospitals by Jan. 24, in order to set up testing sites and assist in non-medical tasks amid staff shortages.

At the beginning of the month, Inslee said the state had ordered 5.5 million at-home tests to distribute to the public, would improve booster vaccine access and supply about 10 million free protective masks to residents.

"We are seeing more COVID cases now than at any point during the entire pandemic," he said at the time. "Now is the time to redouble our efforts against this virus."

In neighboring Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown said Wednesday that she would deploy 1,200 Oregon National Guard members to more than 50 hospitals across the state.

"Fueled by the omicron variant, current hospitalizations are over 700 and daily COVID-19 case counts are alarmingly high," she said on Twitter.

"As they step up yet again, I am asking all Oregonians to continue to do your part. Get vaccinated, get boosted, wear your masks, and stay home when you are sick," Brown added.

On Thursday, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Maryland is opening six new hospital-based COVID-19 testing sites.

Additionally, the governor announced plans to distribute 20 million N95 and KN95 masks around the state.

"We are encouraging all Marylanders to continue doing the things that can keep us safe: getting vaccinated and boosted, avoiding crowds, keeping your distance, washing your hands, and wearing masks or face coverings when appropriate," Hogan said in a statement. "We will keep taking whatever actions are necessary, and we urge Marylanders to remain vigilant, so that together we can continue leading the nation with our health and economic recovery."

Earlier this month he said the Maryland Department of Health would make 500,000 Abbott BinaxNOW rapid antigen test kits available statewide.

In New England, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said residents can expect to receive 26 million iHealth rapid antigen COVID-19 tests over th... (Read more)