There was a measurable turning point in the pandemic this week as Kentucky National Guard troops deployed at hospitals around the state were sent home.

"Working alongside the National Guard was such a rewarding experience," Robert Parker, CEO of Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital, stated. "This partnership provided our hospital necessary relief throughout the course of the pandemic and allowed our clinical staff to focus on patient care. We are incredibly grateful for their service and support."

Tuesday was the last day for troops who had been stationed at LCRH since last September -- when 15 Guard members were tasked with nonclinical duties to free up front-line workers to work with patients as the hospital faced the delta and omicron surges in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maj. Gen. Hal Lamberton, Kentucky's Adjutant General, wrote in January that the Guard has been utilized more over the last 24 months than they had in the last 10 years -- working collectively more than 75,000 days in support of the COVID-19 Coronavirus this year, from hospital augmentation missions to mobile vaccination teams and the ongoing support to the commonwealth's food pantries.

More than 380 Kentucky National Guard members had been helping at hospitals and food banks. The withdrawal announcement comes as cases statewide have been in decline. As of Monday, the positivity rate was just over 4.17%, down two points from the week prior.

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