BISMARCK — The North Dakota National Guard has placed a number of troops on COVID-19 duty to support efforts by the North Dakota Department of Health, according to a release by the National Guard.

According to the release, 65 Guard members will be on state active duty with orders under the authority of FEMA, and are scheduled through the end of the year. Fifty of those members will support NDDOH's COVID-19 contact identification efforts, while 15 others will support the state laboratory in Bismarck.

Including operational and administrative support, about 80 Guard members are currently serving on state active duty for this mission.

“As always, I applaud the resiliency and willingness of our citizen-soldiers and citizen-airmen to serve our communities when they are needed,” said Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, North Dakota adjutant general. “The support of our families and employers continues to be paramount to our ability to successfully answer the call of duty.”

The North Dakota National Guard began COVID-19 duty on March 16, 2020, in the largest and longest mobilization in state history, surpassing the response to flooding in the state in 2011.