FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky National Guard is expanding its role in assisting hospitals during a surge of COVID-19 cases that has stressed the state's health care infrastructure.

The guard is activating 310 additional members in logistical roles to 21 hospitals across the state, the guard said in a media release. The effort began on Monday.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said he believes it is the largest deployment of the guard in a “crisis health care situation” in the state's history.

The guard members will help with non-medical logistical and administrative tasks.

Brig. Gen. Bryan Howay, director of the joint staff for the Kentucky National Guard, said a total of 400 soldiers and airmen have been deployed to 25 hospitals across the state.

The guard is helping staff at hospitals in Paducah, Louisville, Elizabethtown, Corbin, Lexington, Bowling Green, Prestonsburg and other cities.

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