Health District, community partners recognize Nevada National Guard for remarkable efforts during COVID-19 pandemic

Nevada National Guard

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak and First Lady Kathy Sisolak listen to Nevada National Guard Members about the COVID-19 vaccine point of dispensing (POD) at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak and First Lady Kathy Sisolak listen to Nevada National Guard Members about the COVID-19 vaccine point of dispensing (POD) at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center. [/caption]

Dec. 10, 2021. Reno/Sparks, NV – The Washoe County Health District and community partners are recognizing the Nevada National Guard for its remarkable efforts to help in the regional response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Washoe County.

The Guard’s last day supporting the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center (RSLEC) vaccine/testing operation and the Washoe County Health District is Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, though if needed the COVID-19 Response Team can request that the Guard be redeployed. Guard personnel will, however, remain in Northern Nevada assisting the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory.

The Nevada National Guard initially began its support of the Washoe County Health District at the RSLEC testing site in Reno on April 15, 2020.

Guard medical members worked tirelessly for the COVID-19 Response, which included:

  • Collect samples for COVID-19 testing
  • Administer COVID-19 vaccines at the RSLEC and also at community vaccine events and for the homebound program
  • Disease investigation & contact tracing
  • Data entry
  • Staffed the COVID-19 call center, 775-328-2427
  • Helped plan and execute efforts for three separate testing/vaccine arrangements on the Livestock Events Center grounds as well as lead logistical efforts to ensure the hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of resident vehicles move efficiently and safely through the testing and vaccine drive-through process
    • The Health District and the Guard were bolstered in these efforts by Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Medical Reserve Corp (MRC) and Board of Pharmacy volunteers

“It cannot be overstated how important the Nevada National Guard has been to the COVID-19 Response in Washoe County,” said James English, Operations Chief for the COVID-19 Response. “The hard work, professionalism and overall expertise of the men and women of the Guard was astounding to see first-hand. We leaned on the Guard a lot during this pandemic and much of the success we have had in this response can be attributed Guard member support.”

The Guard supported

  • Over 200,000 COVID-19 vaccines administered in Washoe County
  • Over 90,000 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) COVID-19 tests

At the high-water mark during the summer of 2020, about 1,200 Nevada National Guardsmen were activated statewide for the pandemic. It was the largest and lengthiest state activation in Nevada National Guard history.

The Nevada National Guard is a reserve force made up of 4,400 members with about 80 percent serving part-time. The Nevada National Guard serves a dual mission in support of the federal government overseas and the state for emergency response when called by the Governor.

The COVID-19 Regional Information Center is working together to deliver COVID-19 community updates in a unified manner. While press releases are only sent periodically for significant events, you can always get daily results on our website,, our COVID-19 Dashboard or by following us on Twitter @COVID19Washoe. The entities include: City of Reno, City of Sparks, North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, Regional Transportation Commission, REMSA, Reno Sparks Indian Colony, Reno Police Department, Reno Fire Department, Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District, University of Nevada, Reno, Washoe County, Washoe County Health District, Washoe County School District and Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. Also in the group are Community Health Alliance and the area hospitals, Northern Nevada Medical Center, Renown Health and Saint Mary’s.