Members of the Oklahoma Air and Army National Guard traveled to Lawton to help clean and disinfect several nursing homes and long-term care facilities including McMahon-Tomlinson Nursing Center, Thursday.
A group of soldiers and airmen with the Oklahoma National Guard have been traveling around Oklahoma offering their services to nursing homes and long-term care facilities. The group, Infection Control Team 8 which is led by Capt. Mitchell Bledsoe of the 63rd Civil Support Team, has been answering calls to assist with the cleaning and disinfecting of several facilities around Lawton.
“We have been reaching out as part of the governor’s COVID-19 Task Force, to all of the long-term care facilities and asking if they need help disinfecting their facilities,” said Bledsoe. “So we started calling around Lawton and we’ve got two today here.”
So far, Infection Control Team 8, which is made of the 63D Civil Support team of the Army National Guard and the 173D Civil Special Operations Wing of the Air National Guard, has serviced over 100 facilities across the state, with each facility taking between 2-3 hours to complete.
“We’re at McMahon-Tomlinson just helping them clean their stuff, and we did Monte Vista this morning,” said Bledsoe.
The team will clean high-traffic areas, tabletops, handrails and floors. If requested, the team also will clean residents’ room in collaboration with the staff.
Bledsoe said his team has received positive reactions from staff and residents at the facilities they have cleaned.
“There’s been no real negative interactions,” Bledsoe said. “(Residents) can’t have any visitors so they are always happy to talk.”
Gov. Kevin Stitt announced the formation of the task force, comprised of members of Stitt’s staff, his cabinet, interim State Epidemiologist Aaron Wendelboe and Brig. Gen. Tommy Mancino, Assistant Adjutant General of the Oklahoma National Guard. The task force was given the task of coming up with comprehensive solutions to help the state respond to COVID-19 during the early days of the pandemic.