Minnesota National Guard COVID-19 Information
22MAR2020: On March 21-22, the Minnesota National Guard delivered personal protective equipment from the Camp Ripley warehouse to a Minnesota Department of Health warehouse in St. Paul for distribution to first responders and healthcare workers throughout the state. Included in the delivery were more than 81,000 N95 masks, 17,296 pandemic flu kits, 1,153 Tyvek disposable coveralls, 2,265 boots and 2,263 gloves. The Minnesota National Guard continues to provide logistical and planning assistance in support of the state’s response to COVID-19.
21MAR2020: Governor Tim Walz isues Executive Order 20-13 authorizing National Guard assistance to COVID-19 response.
18MAR2020: The Minnesota National Guard delivered more than 1,000 surgical masks to each of the eight EMS regions in Minnesota for use by first responders. The masks came from the U.S. Property and Fiscal Office warehouse at Camp Ripley. An additional 7,000 masks were distributed to the Minnesota State Patrol for follow-on delivery to seven Minnesota Department of Health district offices to provide protection to nursing home inspection teams across the state.
17MAR2020: The Minnesota National Guard is fully integrated into the Governor's staff planning process regarding the state's COVID-19 response strategy. Currently the Minnesota National Guard does not have imminent tasks related to prevention or response, but is in constant communication with the Governor's staff and state agencies should we be needed for future support.
Resources for service members
Minnesota National Guard psychological health coordinators provide crisis response 24/7 to service members and families: 651-282-4029
Minnesota National Guard personal financial counselors provide financial counseling to service members and families: 612-297-0295, 218-341-3617 or 612-849-3657
Cancellations and Closures
- Open clinics on Fridays at Camp Ripley and the Cottage Grove armory have been cancelled until further notice.
- Due to Governor's Executive Order 20-04, all Minnesota National Guard armory leases will be cancelled until May 31, 2020.
- The Minnesota National Guard DA photo studio in Cottage Grove will be closed until further notice.
Questions and Answers
Q: Will deployments be extended for service members who are currently deployed overseas? Will my upcoming deployment be impacted?
A: The Minnesota National Guard is evaluating how the stop travel order will impact the Minnesota National Guard in current and future deployments. The impact will vary from unit to unit. At this time we are unable to provide any specific guidance.
Q Will I have to attend drill in the next two months given Minnesota's shelter in place order and the DoD's 60-day stop travel order?
A: Members of the Minnesota National Guard are considered essential under the Governor's order. Decisions about weekend drills are being made by commanders at each level to ensure units continue to be ready to respond to any state or federal mission. Soldiers and Airmen are advised to remain in contact with their chains of command for up-to-date information.
Q: I have resources I'd like to donate to the state of Minnesota that could be used in the fight against COVID-19, will the Minnesota National Guard take them?
A: Donations of resources are being coordinated by the State Emergency Operations Center, please email all inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What should I do if I'm a soldier/airman and have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been recommended to quarantine or isolate myself due to potential exposure to COVID-19?
A: If you have been tested for COVID-19, been exposed or suspect you have been exposed to COVID-19, or if you are currently sick and exhibiting symptoms, contact your chain of command to report your condition and for additional guidance. Follow all guidance from local health and government officials. Do not leave quarantine or isolation to report to your unit.
Q: Why are National Guard Soldiers and Airmen deployed/ preparing to deploy, while we face a crisis at home?
A: As an operational reserve force, the National Guard is critical to the National Defense Strategy. Without the National Guard, the US military would not be capable of meeting its global demand. The Minnesota National Guard is called upon to apply its unique skills and meet the challenges of new threats, as other regions become more volatile. We are ready to meet the increasing needs of our state and nation to support and defend its citizens.
Q: My son/daughter is a basic training/ AIT. Is he/she in training? When will he/she get home?
A: As of March 16, all Department of Defense service members were directed to stop official travel. Your son/daughter's chain of command at their Army/Air school house has the most immediate information on next steps for your service member during this fluid situation. Keep checking their official social media pages, and keep in touch with your son/daughter.
Q: Is the Minnesota National Guard restricting M-DAY (traditional) Soldiers and Airmen from traveling when they are NOT in a duty status?
A: The Minnesota National Guard has no authority to restrict movement of our traditional service members. However, we ask that soldiers and airmen keep their chain of command informed about any recent travel.
Q: Is drill being canceled?
A: The Minnesota National Guard is currently reviewing issues surrounding drill attendance. Our goal is to keep the well-being of our Guardsmen and their families at the forefront. Minnesota Guardsmen should stay in contact with their chain of command and check their .mil email for up-to-date information.
Q: What if I have a school reservation?
A: The Department of Defense has suspended all movement for functional training, DMOS transition/qualification and primary military education courses across the Army beginning immediately until May 11, 2020.
Q: Is there a freeze in recruiting?
A: There is not currently a freeze in recruiting prospective members into the Minnesota National Guard. To make an appointment with an Army National Guard recruiter, go to https://www.nationalguard.com and click on "get started" and a local recruiter will contact you. To make an appointment with an Air National Guard recruiter, go to www.goang.com and click on "apply now" and a local recruiter will contact you.
Q. Will COVID-19 impact GI Bill program eligibility or impact GI Bill benefits?
A. Most students will not see a change in their benefits and should continue to receive payments as normally scheduled. Updates to education policy and messages regarding COVID-19 impacts will be published on the Minnesota National Guard Education and Incentives Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/educationandincentives.
MDH COVID-19 Hotlines:
Community Mitigation (Schools, child care, business) questions: 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504
Health questions: 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903
How you can help
- Individuals who have small quantities of new, unopened and unused personal protective equipment (PPE) to donate to COVID-19 response efforts should contact their county or tribal emergency manager. Examples of recommended PPE items are gowns, masks, respirators, face shields and gloves. (Please note: emergency managers cannot accept opened or used PPE.) Find your local emergency manager using this interactive map.
- Other than PPE items, donations of supplies and goods are discouraged. Cash donations to the non-profit of your choice are the best donation.
- Individuals who would like to volunteer should contact an organization registered with the Minnesota Voluntary Organization Active in Disaster (MnVOAD).
- Many blood drives have been canceled, impacting the supply. Blood donation centers have the highest standards of safety and infection control. To find where you can donate blood, visit the Minnesota Red Cross.
- Businesses who would like to offer resources, supplies or personnel to COVID-19 response efforts should email email@example.com. Businesses will be contacted if there is a need for the identified resources.