Minnesota National Guard delivers surgical masks to first responders statewide

Soldiers with the Minnesota National Guard deliver boxes of surgical masks. (Minnesota National Guard)

The Minnesota National Guard is helping first responders get much-needed equipment.

Wednesday, soldiers delivered more than 1,000 surgical masks to each of the eight EMS regions in Minnesota. The masks came from supplies at the U.S. Property and Fiscal Office Warehouse at Camp Ripley, a training facility for the Guard. Since the outbreak, there has been a shortage of face masks. Earlier this month, the U.S. surgeon general asked the public to stop buying masks. According to the CDC, masks are only necessary for medical professionals and people who have the virus.

At this time, the Minnesota National Guard has not been officially activated to respond to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Wednesday, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said he has asked for the permission to activate the Guard, if the need arises.