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Indiana National Guard ready to move critical medical supplies

Supplies come from federal stockpile
New York reports first coronavirus-related death in state
Posted at 10:00 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 22:00:11-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- Members on the Indiana National Guard will be at the Stout Field guard facility in Indianapolis Thursday on a very important assignment.

They will be unloading trucks full of medical supplies that will go to Indiana hospitals in need of the gloves, masks, gowns and face shields used by health care workers treating COVID-19 patients. Indiana State Police and the Department of Transportaton will be assisting in getting the supplies to hospitals.

As of Thursday, the state reported 477 cases of the virus in Indiana, a number that is expected to increase in coming days.

Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box said the supplies come from a federal stockpile and arrived in "four or five trucks this week." "We have received our second allotment of supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile and we're currently working through a plan to distribute that in the next few days," Dr. Box said at a media briefing by Governor Eric Holcomb Wednesday.

The Strategic National Stockpile is the federal government's supply of life-saving drugs and medical supplies for use in public health emergencies. It's run by the Department of Health and Human Services. Stockpiles are kept at various undisclosed locations around the country.

Dr. Box said she is in regular touch with Indiana hospitals. "I have been holding regional calls with hospitals across the state to discuss what they are doing now and future planning so that when this outbreak peaks, we are ready on all corners of the state," she said.

The National Guard was activated last week to help as needed in the state's battle against the virus.