Last week, the California National Guard approved the City of Long Beach’s request to provide logistical support for humanitarian assistance related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fifty members of the National Guard 315th Company are expected to arrive in the city on April 10, 2020, and will remain available in this initial deployment through June 30, 2020.
The purpose of the National Guard is not enforcing City health orders, but rather enhancing public health and City services by providing staffing assistance at the temporary shelters, as well as support for the City’s Rapid Assessment Clinic (RAC) at Long Beach City College. National Guard personnel will be dressed in camouflage uniforms but will not be armed and will only perform logistical and administrative humanitarian support functions. Examples of these duties include assisting medical staff and managing incoming and outgoing traffic at the RAC, monitoring the physical distancing of crowds, housekeeping and meal services at the temporary shelters.
After the City of Long Beach declared a state of emergency on March 4, local National Guard officials reached out to offer support services. The City’s Emergency Operations Center subsequently submitted a formal request for their support on April 2. Numerous jurisdictions throughout California, including the City of Los Angeles, already have received assistance.
The first sites to be assisted by National Guard personnel will be the temporary shelters at Silverado Park and Martin Luther King Jr. Park. The City of Long Beach will not be responsible for funding the National Guard personnel.