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North Dakota National Guard resumes COVID-19 duty

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FILE – In this Nov. 17, 2020, file photo, North Dakota National Guard soldiers Spc. Samantha Crabbe, left, and Master Sgt. Melanie Vincent administer COVID-19 tests inside the Bismarck Events Center in Bismarck, N.D. As much of the country experiences spiking virus rates, a reprieve from a devastating surge of the coronavirus in the Upper Midwest has given cautious relief to health officials, though they worry that infections remain rampant and holiday gatherings could reignite the worst outbreaks of the pandemic. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP, File)

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Dozens of North Dakota National Guard members are resuming support for the state’s coronavirus pandemic response, military officials said.

The Guard announced Friday that about 50 of its members are assisting the state Health Department with contact tracing and about 15 others are helping at the state laboratory in Bismarck.

The group is expected to remain on active duty until the end of the year.

The Guard’s COVID-19 duty began in March 2020 and last November surpassed the record personnel days worked set during 2011 flooding.

The Guard has worked more than 121,400 personnel days of COVID-19 support duty, which is said is the largest and longest state mobilization in history.

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