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Update: National Guard Assistance to Nursing Facilities

Russ Evans, RN, MHA, COO Probari shared the following information with HOPE and in-turn we wanted to share these updates with you. Included are attachments that should be useful.


  • Most recent version of the Facility Listing

  • NG Deployment One Page Handout

  • Probari Training Learning Objectives

  • FAQ

Facility Staff Testing

Many facilities have requested an expanded role for the Guard Members as they assist with staff testing. Dr. Rusyniak has put together this guidance below for how they can be utilized.

  • What the Guard can do:

    • Enter data into the NHSN or RedCap system

    • Run samples on point of care machines or binax cards

    • Observe persons self-swabbing

  • If the soldier is running samples the facility will need to provide the following:

    • On-site training of proper operational procedures

    • Additional PPE for the guard: (Currently recommended that staff processing samples follow the PPE guidelines below)

      • Follow Standard Precautions when handling clinical specimens, including hand hygiene and the use of PPE, such as laboratory coats or gowns, gloves, and eye protection. If needed, additional precautions can be used, such as a surgical mask or face shield, or other physical barriers, such as a splash shield to work behind.

      • When using patient swabs, minimize contamination of the swab stick and wrapper by widely opening the wrapper prior to placing the swab back into the wrapper.

      • Change gloves after adding patient specimens to the instrument.

      • Decontaminate the instrument after each run by using an EPA-approved disinfectant for SARS-CoV-2. Following the manufacturer’s recommendations for use, such as dilution, contact time, and safe handling.

  • Can staff self-swab?

    • Yes. So long as staff are following CDC guidelines for swabbing they can self-swab. This will have the added benefit of reducing PPE. If staff are self-swabbing, we recommend having a person to witness the self-swabbing to assure proper technique is followed.

  • What the guard cannot do:

    • Swab staff or residents.

  • PPD Testing: Do Guard members need a PPD test prior to working in the nursing facility?

    • No, the waiver of the requirement for PPD testing prior to working a skilled nursing facility is still in effect. We are not anticipating the guard to be deployed in this role past 90 days.

    • If the facility wants to provide a PPD test to the guard that is permissible but must be performed at the facilities expense.

  • Background Checks: Do Guard members require a background check prior to working in the facility?

    • No, guard members are screened and undergo a background check prior to being accepted to the guard.

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