Governor Charlie Baker today activated up to 2,000 members of the Massachusetts National Guard to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. Baker said the move represents "a significant addition of supply chain resources."

Baker said the guard will be tasked with supporting requests from state agencies for equipment, logistics, warehousing, and related duties. Local cities, towns, and state agencies must submit requests for 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,” said Baker in a statement. “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 governor has statutory authority to activate the National Guard under state active duty to provide necessary assistance to state and municipal civilian authorities.

The Guard has a track record supporting civilian authorities during and after state emergencies, and its units often train side-by-side with first responders, making them well-suited for domestic operations, Baker said.

On March 10, Baker declared a state of emergency, giving the Administration more flexibility to respond to the Coronavirus outbreak.

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