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August 28, 2020 |
Nashville, TN – In March, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee authorized the activation of the Tennessee National Guard to assist with the fight against COVID-19 Coronavirus.
Since then, the Guard has been teaming up with the Department of Health and various other state and local agencies to combat the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic in communities throughout the state.
Establishing Remote Assessment Sites to test citizens and determine if they have been infected with COVID-19 Coronavirus, over 2,100,000 tests have been administered at these locations, and the Tennessee National Guard administered more than 300,000 of those tests.
In early July, Meharry Medical College joined forces with the Tennessee National Guard to operate a drive-thru testing site in Downtown Nashville next to Nissan Stadium.
The number of tests being administered was immense, and having assistance from the Tennessee National Guard was a big help, explained Dr. Julie Gray, the site leader at Nissan Stadium.
“Our testing numbers were very high,” said Gray. “In the heat of the summer we really needed the extra manpower. The addition of the guardsmen truly assisted us when we needed it most.”
Gray, who has called Nashville home since she first attended Meharry Medical College in 1995, is currently a Dean of Student Affairs at the Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry. She praised the Tennessee National Guard for their commitment to the community.
“At Meharry we have a mission that says we serve our community through God,” said Gray. “The guardsmen definitely align themselves with that train of thought as well. They are very willing to help their neighbors in this fight against COVID-19.”
Initially, Governor Lee requested 250 Soldiers and Airmen from the Tennessee National Guard to provide support in response to the pandemic. Since then, over 2,000 guardsmen have been activated in some capacity to serve their communities and many are still activated today.
Going forward, Meharry Medical College and the Tennessee National Guard will continue to test members of the community for the virus, helping limit the spread so we can conquer this enemy and get back to a sense of normalcy.
TopicsBill Lee, Coronavirus, COVID-19, COVID-19 Testing, Downtown Nashville, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Nashville TN, Nissan Stadium, pandemic, Tennessee Governor, Tennessee National Guard