The latest class of National Guardsmen trained to be nursing assistants in Wisconsin has graduated. But just how much work they will do remains to be seen.
Gov. Tony Evers on Thursday said 154 soldiers have now completed their Certified Nursing Assistant training.
The governor asked them to get trained back in January to help overworked staffers at hospitals and nursing homes across the state.
“One of our top priorities throughout the pandemic has been to make sure our hospitals and health care providers have the staff and resources they need to keep providing care,” the governor said in a statement. “We have met and surpassed our goal of the number of nursing home beds we expected to open up.”
The governor’s goal was to free up 200 beds. His office on Thursday said they opened 226 beds as of last week.
Back in January when the governor called up the troops, there were more than 2,200 people hospitalized with the coronavirus in Wisconsin. As of Thursday, the state’s Hospital Association said the hospitalization count was just 316.
“The citizen soldiers and airmen of the Wisconsin National Guard have answered every call put before them throughout the pandemic. Once again, they’re making our state proud and demonstrating their agility and ability to adapt to any mission the state asks us to complete,” Wisconsin Adjutant General Paul Knapp said on Thursday.
It’s not clear just how many of the newly graduated troops will be sent to hospitals or nursing homes going forward. Though Evers’ office said 56 troops will be sent to new nursing homes next week.
This article was originally posted on Wisconsin National Guard troops graduate CNA program, three months after coronavirus peak