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Gov. Baker Activates Mass. National Guard In Response To Coronavirus Outbreak

Gov. Charlie Baker activated the Massachusetts National Guard on Thursday, calling upwards of 2,000 members to help with the state's response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Guard members will be asked to provide logistical support to state agencies as they acquire, store and deliver equipment across the state. Cities and towns can also coordinate Guard support through the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

“Activating the National Guard will help support our Administration’s efforts to keep residents safe and secure during the COVID-19 outbreak,” Baker said in a statement released Thursday. “The expertise of the Massachusetts National Guard will benefit our communities with logistical support and other assistance as we continue to respond to this crisis.”

The activation comes as known cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, continue to spike in the state. As of Thursday, there were 328 confirmed cases in Massachusetts, about a 30% increase over Wednesday's total. The numbers are expected to climb as testing accelerates in the state.

Nationwide, there are currently 2,000 active Guard members assisting in 27 states. But that number may soon jump into the tens of thousands, according to National Guard chief Gen. Joseph Lengyel.

"This could quickly blossom," Lengyel said Thursday.

Roberto Scalese Twitter Digital Producer
Roberto Scalese is a digital producer and editor. 

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