Gov. Jay Inslee sent a letter today to the Trump administration requesting an extension of federal authority and funding for Washington National Guard employment in support of COVID-19 pandemic emergency response operations through December 31, 2020.
The letter reads, in part:
"As the number of positive COVID-19 cases continues to climb in our state, it is clear that help from the Washington National Guard remains essential through the end of the year... Currently, more than 1,000 Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen are assisting with critical missions that keep our food banks operational and our neighbors fed. They are critical to our efforts to slow the spread of the virus by supporting COVID-mapping missions, assembling test kits, and operating community-based test sites. Additionally, uniquely skilled National Guard planners are assisting my COVID-19 food security team and other state agencies to ensure that we meet the health and welfare needs of Washingtonians through our phased re-opening plan."
To date, the Washington National Guard has delivered more than 1.3 million meals or 33.5 million pounds of food to struggling families at food banks across the state, tested over 14,000 people at community-based testing sites, and built more than 150,000 test kits.