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WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia deeply values and recognizes the strength, courage, and resilience of the Virginia Army National Guard, Virginia Air National Guard and Virginia Defense Force exhibited during the COVID-19 pandemic; and
WHEREAS, on March 6, 2020, support FOR Virginia’s COVID-19 response efforts began, and nearly 600 Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen as well as members of the Virginia Defense Force served over 464 days until July 31, 2021; and
WHEREAS, throughout their service, these men and women supported nearly 160 different local, state and federal agencies over the course of the mobilization, and completed over 1,100 missions, keeping their fellow Virginian’s safe during the global pandemic, and; and
WHEREAS, the Virginia National Guard conducted more than 210 community testing events, , tested nearly 180,000 Virginians, supported 280 congregate care facilities, conducted N95 respirator mask fit tests with more than 4,640 health care workers, and delivered 482,878 pieces of personal protective equipment; and
WHEREAS, the Virginia National Guard helped distribute more than 1,249,448 pounds of food, delivering and serving more than 38,300 meals to Virginians; and
WHEREAS, the Virginia National Guard delivered more than 167,487 laboratory specimens in support of the Virginia Department of Health’s testing efforts, and conducted more than 18,600 calls in support of their contact tracing efforts; and
WHEREAS, the Virginia National Guard supported more than 200 vaccination events, administered more than 61,500 vaccinations, supported 21 point of distribution sites, and provided administrative and logistical support for nearly 470,125 vaccinations; and
WHEREAS, the Virginia National Guard performed 55,515 planning hours in support of local, regional, and state emergency management; and
WHEREAS, the Virginia Defense Force personnel contributed significantly to the operation of the Commonwealth of Virginia Incident Management Team, served in key leadership positions, supported the Virginia Department of Health and Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s vaccination efforts, helped track vetting and certification of fixed community vaccination sites, developed survey tools for initial site assessments, and collected data to assess vaccination sites; and
WHEREAS, the Virginia Defense Force and Virginia National Guard personnel filled positions in the regional coordination center for each Virginia Department of Emergency Management region, helping to ensure the efficient and productive coordination of the statewide mobile vaccination effort; and
WHEREAS, the Virginia National Guard and Virginia Defense Force could not perform its mission without the support of the Virginia Department of Military Affairs civilian workforce, families, employers, and communities around the Commonwealth; and
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize the superb efforts of the Virginia National Guard and Virginia Defense Force in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.