WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. — Hospitals across New York State moved quickly to establish dedicated space to receive the expected influx of patients showing symptoms of COVID 19. The number of COVID 19 virus patients testing positive for the pandemic surpassed 10,356 on March 20, 2020.
Providing support to the region hardest hit by the outbreak were members of the New York National Guard. More than half those total cases were identified in Westchester County.
The Westchester County Office of Emergency Management provided nine of ten county disaster response tents to local hospitals, with National Guard Soldiers providing the additional support to put them in place March 18-20.
“With all you guys here, we can just bang it out quick,” said Jim Sheridan, a retired Westchester firefighter supporting the county emergency management office in delivering and placing the tents.
Soldiers on site had already performed a variety of missions in and around New Rochelle. Pvt. Cindy Ganesh, assigned to the 369th Sustainment Brigade Headquarters, had already provided food distribution and hand sanitizer delivery to communities hit by the outbreak as well as putting up tents at sampling sites over the past week.
“We’re all in this together,” Ganesh said, “so it’s good to be working on different missions.”
With repetition, the Soldiers and firefighters made quick work of the tent mission at the New York-Presbyterian-Hudson Valley Hospital in Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.
“22 minutes, that’s a new record, even for us,” Sheridan said. “Goes to show how fast this goes when we all work together.”
The New York National Guard has more than 1,600 service members operating in six task forces across the state. That number continues to grow as missions expand the Guard’s support to local governments.