Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is activating the state's National Guard to help amid the coronavirus outbreak.
“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, referring to the disease caused by the coronavirus. “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.”
Up to 2,000 members of the guard will be helping amid the outbreak, according to the Baker administration. They will help fulfill state agencies' requests for "equipment, logistics, warehousing, and related duties," according to a news release, and the agencies, as well as cities and towns, can request their support via the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.
The Boston Globe first reported the development, which comes nine days after Baker declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts.
Thursday saw what was, at the time, the biggest one-day spike in coronavirus cases in Massachusetts, rising by 72 to 328. That was topped Friday, when the number of cases rose by 85 to 413.
"It's going to get a lot worse before it gets a lot better," said Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone, who declared a state of emergency days ago.
Curtatone says it's unclear how it will all work and what the state wants him to do next.
"We need to understand, in real time, what it is you need from us," he said Friday.
About half the nation's governors have activated their national guard units in some way as the coronavirus pandemic has spread, according to The Military Times. New York's brought in the guard last week to help deal with a hotspot that flared up north of New York City.