ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Walz on Saturday, March 21, authorized the Minnesota National Guard to deliver masks and gloves to Minnesota hospitals.

The Guard’s first mission is to transport personal protective equipment from Camp Ripley in Little Falls to the Minnesota Department of Health warehouse in St. Paul. The Guard, through the State Emergency Operations Center, will also assist with planning and coordination in regards to delivering the supplies.

“In times of need, Minnesotans pull together to make sure we have the resources and supplies we need to get through challenges,” Walz said. “Minnesota’s hospitals, health care facilities, and first responders are in desperate need of personal protective equipment, and I’m grateful to have the Minnesota National Guard’s partnership in delivering these supplies for Minnesotans.”

Walz authorized the Guard by signing Executive Order 20-13. The order helps address the low supply of personal protective equipment in Minnesota’s hospitals and health care facilities as well as the delivery delays from the federal government’s Strategic National Stockpile.

This is the 13th executive order signed by Walz this month regarding the coronavirus crisis.

“Our health care providers are working hard to provide care to patients with COVID-19,” said Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. “The best way we can keep them healthy is to provide them with the protective equipment they need to do their jobs safely. Delivering these supplies as quickly as possible is critical to these efforts.”

The Minnesota Department of Health’s request to activate the Minnesota National Guard for this mission was vetted through the State Emergency Operations Center logistics unit.

This activation of the Guard is effective immediately and is active through the duration of the COVID-19 peacetime emergency.

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