Maryland National Guard quarantines 20 soldiers following confirmed COVID-19 case in unit

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A member of the Maryland Army National Guard recently tested positive for COVID-19, leading to 20 other soldiers in the unit to be placed on quarantine as a precaution to limit the virus' spread, a spokesman for the guard said in a statement released Friday night.

"The Soldier is in isolation," Maj. Kurt M. Rauschenberg, Maryland National Guard spokesman said. "Military medical personnel and leaders are taking precautions to protect other Maryland National Guard members and Marylanders by cleaning and sanitizing work areas and equipment."

Currently, there are more than 1,600 Maryland National Guard members directly supporting efforts to quell the coronavirus pandemic, with an additional 700 in a state of readiness, should they be needed, Rauschenberg told Task & Purpose.

On March 5, Gov. Larry Hogan issued an executive order activating the National Guard across the state, and on March 16, two medical support companies were tasked with carrying out "any necessary emergency functions and critical areas of need in the coming weeks," reads a statement from Hogan's office.

The Baltimore Sun reported on Friday that the soldier's unit — which was not disclosed in the National Guard Statement — is adhering to social distancing as much as they can, with soldiers being billeted in separate rooms to limit the risk of spread.