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More than 100 National Guard members in DC test positive for coronavirus: report

More than 100 National Guard members stationed at the Capitol have tested positive for COVID-19 and hundreds more are in quarantine after potential exposure, Politico reported Friday. 

“We did not get COVID tests on arrival,” one guard member told the news outlet. “Right after the holidays they packed us together like sardines in buses and rooms for this.”

Pictures and reports of guard members working in close proximity to each other raised concerns about a potential outbreak. 

National Guard members from Florida did not take COVID-19 tests prior to deploying, but did perform screenings and were offered the Moderna vaccine, a spokesman for the state’s Department of Military Affairs told Fox News. The servicemembers have been wearing masks and conducting daily screenings, and no members from Florida have tested positive. 

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No Wisconsin service members have tested positive either, Wisconsin National Guard Maj. Joe Trovato told Fox News Friday. 

“All of our troops are screened medically each day for COVID-19, and they were screened before travelling to Washington, D.C., and each day since,” Trovato said. “Our troops also implemented COVID-mitigation strategies such as mandatory masks, and social distancing whenever possible.”

Several lawmakers were outraged Wednesday night to learn that servicemembers were ordered to crowd into a parking garage to rest on their shifts, and a handful of Governors ordered their troops to return home. 

The National Guard said it has been working with Capitol Police to ensure that the guard are in appropriate spaces. 

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“The USCP and the National Guard have coordinated their efforts to ensure that National Guardsmen and women are stationed throughout the Capitol Complex are in appropriate spaces within Congressional buildings, including the U.S. Capitol, where they may take on-duty breaks,” a National Guard bureau spokesperson told Fox News in a statement Friday. “Off-duty troops are being housed in hotel rooms or other comfortable accommodations.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, and Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte ordered National Guard members home after the inauguration. 

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Nearly 26,000 National Guard troops were deployed to Washington, D.C., to deal with potential unrest surrounding President Joe Biden’s inauguration. 

The National Guard said Thursday that 10,600 troops remain on duty in Washington, D.C., and approximately 7,000 service members will remain in the Capitol through the end of this month. 

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