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California National Guard deployed to COVID-test sites statewide

Office of the Governor of California/Twitter

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KION-TV) -- Governor Gavin Newsom has activated the California National Guard to support COVID-testing facilities overwhelmed by a spike in testing demand across the state.

This move, according to the governor's office, will deploy over 200 Cal Guard members across 50 Optum Serve test-sites across the state.

The governor's office said Cal Guard members will provide interim clinical staff while efforts to hire permanent staff continue. The goal is to add capacity for walk-ins, assist with crowd control and fill-in due to any staff absences.

Additional members of the Guard will be deployed in the coming days, as well.

“California has led the country’s fight against COVID-19, implementing first-in-the-nation public health measures that have helped save tens of thousands of lives,” said Governor Newsom. “We continue to support communities in their response to COVID by bolstering testing capacity.”

Whether Cal Guard members will make their way to assist COVID-test sites on the Central Coast remains to be seen.

According to the governor's office, 6,000 testing sites exist at this time that have been set up by the state.

There have been previous reports from KION of long lines and even a lack of appointments available for those hoping to get tested, especially during the holidays when demand was at its peak almost overnight.

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Victor Guzman

Victor Guzman is the Assistant News Director at KION News Channel 5/46.

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