Utah National Guard extends COVID-19 support amid surge

Sep 16, 2021, 8:56 AM | Updated: Jun 7, 2022, 5:14 pm

TOOELE, Utah — With this summer’s rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations fueled by the delta variant, the Utah National Guard will keep 100 service members on its COVID-19 Response Task Force through mid-December.

Due to the spike in COVID-19 cases, most county health departments across Utah are testing more people for COVID-19 and giving more shots. Members of the Utah National Guard will continue to be critical in those duties.

“That’s the reason why I joined the National Guard in the first place: I always wanted to help my community,” said Spc. Brayden Borders.

He is helping as a vaccinator at the Tooele County Health Department. It’s his first mission — his first deployment, right where he grew up.

Sgt. 1st Class Bradley Curtis and Spc. Brayden Borders help administer vaccinations at the Tooele County Health Department. (Jed Boal/KSL TV)

“It’s definitely a very amazing opportunity to give back to my community that I’ve grown up in,” Borders said.

He’s using his skill set as a combat medic to help vaccinate his hometown, and that means a lot to him.

“I’ve given a lot of vaccinations to people I’ve known my entire life,” he said. “It’s really cool to get to show them that this is what I do for the military, and I’m able to give back to them and also help them.”

The Utah National Guard has activated more than 630 soldiers and airmen over the past 18 months and originally thought that work would be done by now. But, due to the recent surge in cases and an uptick in vaccinations, the orders have been extended to Dec. 17.

“It has been very busy,” said Sgt. 1st Class Bradley Curtis, who has been working alongside Borders in Tooele since the beginning of the summer. Vaccinations have picked up in recent weeks.

“The numbers have risen in the last couple of weeks where we’re doing over 100. We did 135 on Monday,” said Curtis.

Curtis deployed to Afghanistan earlier in his career and said this is unlike any other mission. He believes he’s making a difference in a different way than his past combat deployments.

“I feel like we have a better chance at licking this thing if we have enough people vaccinated,” Curtis said.

Throughout the pandemic service members assigned to the task force have administered COVID-19 tests and vaccinations, conducted contact tracing, provided support to long-term care facilities and administered antibody infusions to treat COVID-19.

“COVID is not going away anytime soon,” Borders said. “It’s just getting worse the more we go on with things. So we knew at any time that the mission could get extended.”

For the next three months, national guardsmen will be working with health departments in Utah doing what they can to fight the virus.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


Intermountain Medical Center (KSL TV)...
Emily Ashcraft

Pandemic led to increase in rate and severity of depression, Intermountain study says

The COVID-19 pandemic had a large impact on mental health, specifically depression, an Intermountain Health study using research from thousands Utah patients found.
26 days ago
Emily Ashcraft

Masks no longer required at Intermountain Health facilities, 3 years after pandemic started

Intermountain Health announced wearing masks will become optional for visitors and patients beginning March 15, following an anticipated decline in respiratory illnesses.
29 days ago
woman blowing her nose on a couch...
Paul LeBlanc

New assessment on the origins of COVID-19 adds to the confusion

Three years after the start of the pandemic, researchers are beginning to look more into how COVID-19 began and its origins.
1 month ago
Flu COVID test...
Jen Christensen, CNN

FDA authorizes first at-home test for flu, Covid-19

If you've got a fever and a cough, you don't necessarily have to go to the doctor anymore to find out if it's the flu or COVID-19.
1 month ago
Ashley Moser

COVID long-haulers push lawmakers to approve funding for treatment research

The request for $4,000,000 would help U of U Health’s Comprehensive COVID-19 Clinic, which has seen 1,800 long COVID-19 patients since July of 2021.
1 month ago
Katija Stjepovic

Utah arts and cultural jobs are surging after COVID pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic pulled the curtains on most of Utah's arts and cultural jobs, but after nearly three years, they are reemerging. 
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Stack of old laptops with dark background...
PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Close up of an offset printing machine during production...
Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.
vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
Utah National Guard extends COVID-19 support amid surge