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Hill Air Force Base medical reservists deployed to New York to help with COVID-19

Majors Katherine Trout (left) and Jimmy Jones (right) leave Salt Lake City to help patients in NYC on Sunday, 4/5/2020. (Photo: Alex Cabrero KSLTV)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — Medics, nurses and nurse practitioners from Utah are being deployed to New York to help that city deal with the high number of coronavirus cases.

The Reserve 419th Medical Squadron was called up as part of President Trump’s executive order on March 27th.

“Being utilized in any way that can help, not just with the people of New York, but anywhere in the country is quite an honor to be selected,” said Chief Nurse Jimmy Jones.

Major Jones admits he has some nerves about being deployed to New York, but knows there is a plan. He was deployed to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina as well.

“I’ll anticipate whatever sort of differences I run into, they’ll have a protocol I can follow,” he said.

Jones works as a nurse practitioner at a surgical center in Pocatello, Idaho. He went along with Major Katherine Trout, who is a registered nurse in an intensive care unit in Salt Lake City. They both serve part-time in the Air Force Reserves.

They only had about 24 hours notice before leaving Salt Lake City on Sunday afternoon. The executive order is for up to 180 days, but could be extended.

Other medical professionals from Hill could be leaving for New York soon.

“Reservists from all over the U.S. are being called up,” said Tilton Kari Tilton, chief of public affairs for the fighter wing. She said she couldn’t release specific numbers of reservists being sent, but said, “For us, right now, let’s say it’s a ‘handful.’”

New York City has been the hardest hit area in the country.

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States