Why the Illinois National Guard is Stationed in a Chicago Suburb

The Rosemont coronavirus testing site opened up to first responders Monday, but eventually plans to be available to the public

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Approximately 100 members of the Illinois National Guard have been sent to suburban Rosemont to assist at a new coronavirus testing site, state officials said.

The testing site opened up only for first responders Monday, but as time goes on, the facility is expected to open up more and more to the public, said Brig. Gen. Richard Neely, Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard.

National Guard members have also been deployed throughout other areas of the state to help with logistics, transportation and distributing masks. Additionally, members of a specialized engineering team have been inspecting shuttered hospitals to determine if the buildings would be able to be reopened and house patients, if necessary.

"Unlike a flood, where a lot of times we’re doing a lot of security and management and support of flood operations, this time they’re bringing out some key, needed specialties such as medical logistics and transportation," Brig. Gen. Neely said. "That’s what your National Guard brings, unique capabilities and capacity."

Brig. Gen. Neely offered details about the Illinois National Guard's duties in response to several rumors on social media, including one that claimed the National Guard was being brought in to enforce Gov. J.B. Pritzker's stay-at-home order.

"We’re not bringing weapons...We're not bringing anything like that," Brig. Gen. Neely said. "We’re bringing our professional skills to help out."

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