National Guardsmen cleaning retirement, assisted living facilities across metro

Channel 2's Mark Winne got photos of the operations to keep Georgians safe.

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — The Georgia National Guard is helping the most vulnerable people in the metro area.

Space suits and WWII masks is how one retirement community is comparing the hazmat gear that soldiers are wearing to clean their building.

Channel 2’s Chris Jose watched on as national guardsmen brought in foggers to clean the King’s Bridge Retirement Community where there are four positive cases or coronavirus.

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“You know, they’re vulnerable and they need this help,” said attorney Eric Hertz.

The facility on Briarcliff Road in DeKalb County offers independent and assisted living.

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NewsChopper 2 also flew over Rome Health and Rehab on Redmond Circle. The nursing home has 11 confirmed cases.

Hertz has been helping families all over metro Atlanta with loved ones in nursing homes.

“We’re getting a lot of phone calls from different clients worried what’s going to happen to their loved ones,” Hertz said.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne spoke exclusively to Georgia National Guardsman Tom Carden, adjutant general, about the mission.

“We trained over a hundred soldiers, yesterday with our subject matter experts. We currently have about seven teams working right now and we’re continuing to scale that capability,” Carden said.

In a letter to residents and family member, King’s Bridge Retirement Community compared the hazmat gear to “space suits and World War II masks.”

Executive director Kevin Shaw told Jose there are more than 200 residents who live there. He said about 20% live on the second floor and that’s where apartments are in the process of being disinfected.

The second floor is the section designated for assisted living, and where four people have tested positive for coronavirus.

Jose learned that National Guardsmen are in the process of cleaning common areas throughout the building and should be done disinfecting the building Friday.

There are 5,348 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Georgia, with 163 deaths and 1,056 hospitalizations, as of noon on Thursday.