SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday placed the California National Guard on alert to prepare to potentially protect local communities in fighting the spread of coronavirus throughout the state.

The National Guard emphasized that Newsom’s action is not a mobilization order–it’s a notification for the National Guard to prepare for potential activation.

“Take time now to prepare your personal equipment, make plans with your family, and identify through your chain of command any issues that need to be resolved,” the CA National Guard advised its troops.

The National Guard told troops not to report to their units unless explicitly instructed by unit leadership.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Coronavirus Pandemic

Newsom’s announcement is a result of his commitment to begin mobilizing state personnel and assets in the efforts to fight against COVID-19. Under Newsom’s direction, the National Guard will perform humanitarian missions across the state, such as distributing food, ensuring resiliency of supply lines and supporting public safety when required.

“As Californians make sacrifices over the coming weeks to protect our shared health, we are all grateful for medical providers, first-responders and National Guard personnel who are assisting those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19,” Newsom said in a statement. “We have the ability to shape our collective future and we will remain united as a state.”

As governor, Newsom is the Commander-in-Chief of the CA National Guard and in this capacity can utilize them during natural disasters and other emergencies.

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