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Maryland National Guard units activated in response to Hogan’s order

Maryland National Guard units and service members started the process of activation Friday in preparation for the state’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Gov. Larry Hogan, who declared a state emergency on March 5, activated the Guard a week later. More than 2,000 members of the Guard are expected to be called to duty statewide.

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Lt. Col. Wayde Minami said members of the Guard were being processed into service in small groups and heading out for various missions. While some guard members and their vehicles were spotted on the streets of Baltimore near Camden Yards and a downtown hotel Friday afternoon, no mission has yet been established in the city, Minami said.

Mike Ricci, a spokesman for the governor, said Guard units will be engaged in transporting patients, conducting temperature screenings at state facilities, helping local hospitals set up triage tents, and supporting the State Emergency Operations Center and a pilot assessment location at FedEx Field in Prince George’s County.

Minami said the Guard was already working at the Strategic National Stockpile, a government repository of drugs and medical supplies near Washington, D.C.

Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young said he expected Guard units to help with meal distribution to children at city schools and with logistical support of the city’s hospitals. “I am confident that the deployment of the National Guard will help ensure Baltimore City has everything it needs to fully address COVID-19,” Young said in a press release.

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