NEW ORLEANS (BRPROUD)- As 2022 starts, recent surges in COVID-19 and the Omicron variant has lead the Louisiana National Guard (LANG) on various coronavirus missions across the state under direction of Governor John Bel Edwards.

Guardsmen have administered more than 542,000 COVID-19 tests and 206,300 vaccines. They have also distributed over 42.4 million pounds of food.

“Our task force has worked through multiple surges since the start of this pandemic. This latest surge of Omicron is more transmissible which has led to a very sharp increase in test site demand throughout the state,” said Brig. Gen. Cindy Haygood, Task Force COVID commander for Louisiana.

Currently, 870 Soldiers and Airmen are supporting various missions, including: administering COVID-19 vaccines at 28 sites; administering COVID tests at 31 sites; transporting equipment and vaccines; and providing food bank and warehouse support, according to LANG

“Our team quickly answered the call for additional testing sites and a request from the Louisiana Department of Health to work through the holidays. We are very proud of the flexibility of our team and grateful to serve alongside each service member on this task force.”