St. Louis County asks National Guard to help with coronavirus response


St. Louis County Executive Sam Page has requested assistance from the Missouri National Guard as St. Louis prepares for an escalation in COVID-19 virus.

“As we prepare for the surge of this pandemic, the National Guard can play a critical role in helping us transport patients and supplies to free up our healthcare professionals to focus on treatment and care of our residents,” Page said in a news release.

He made the request in a letter sent Wednesday to Gov. Mike Parson.

Under Page’s request, members of the National Guard also would assist with security at hospitals, testing sites, the county’s warehouse and at the North County Recreation Center, which has been converted to a homeless shelter.

“During this challenging time, these young women and men will be an invaluable asset,” Page said in the release.

In the letter to Parson, Page wrote about the “unprecedented times” surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and said “we are  tapping into every available resource we have here in St. Louis County to help slow the spread of COVID-19… Saving lives is our top priority. Tragically, we know this deadly virus will continue to spread for weeks and take a larger toll than what we have experienced so far.”

More resources are necessary to make sure the region is prepared for what is ti come, Page said,” including helping our residents meet their most basic needs.”

Terming the expected spike in cases a “surge,” Page asked for help transporting patients and equipment along with additional security at hospitals, the county warehouse and the North County Recreation Center.

Page also thanked Parson for issuing a stay-at-home order this week, which Page said would “ensure fewer people are exposed and the spread of COVID-19 is slowed.”

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