Components of the Army and Air National Guard are activated in Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington state as of Friday morning, according to a statement obtained by Fox News. About 400 Guard members are in those states.
“As other states are requested to support civil authorities, those numbers will change rapidly. By the end of the day we expect that number to approach 1,000,” according to the National Guard, reported Stars and Stripes.
Several dozen states have declared emergencies in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Data provided by Johns Hopkins University shows that more than 1,700 cases have been confirmed across the United States.
“The National Guard is fully involved at the local, state, and federal level in the planning and execution of the nation’s response to COVID-19,” said National Guard Bureau spokesperson to the Military Times. “In times of emergency, the National Guard Bureau serves as a federal coordinating agency should a state require assistance from the National Guard of another state.”
“At the national level, Guard members are training personnel on COVID-19 response, identifying and preparing National Guard facilities for use as isolation housing, and compiling state medical supply inventories,” the statement said. “National Guard personnel will provide assistance to the states that include logistical support, disinfection/cleaning, activate/conduct transportation of medical personnel, call center support, and meal delivery.”
It comes as President Donald Trump declared a national emergency over the virus to free up more resources and funding.
The National Guard Bureau’s website says that a state’s governor can activate the National Guard “in response to natural or man-made disasters or Homeland Defense missions.”