KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Additional personnel from the Tennessee National Guard are assisting Tennessee hospitals this week to aid health care workers in the fight against COVID-19. The Tennessee Department of Military said the uptick began Friday.

In a news release shared out over the weekend, the state military department says the additional support brings the Guard’s total support to 32 medical facilities across the state.

“At the request of the Tennessee Department of Health and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, roughly 80 Soldiers and Airmen from the Tennessee National Guard, who specialize in administration, began supporting medical staff at hospitals in Clarksville, Crossville, Harriman, Knoxville, Lenoir City, Memphis, Murfreesboro, Nashville, and Tazewell,” the Sept. 18 news release states.

“Guardsmen can work in many types of hospital units and help with various tasks as required. This augmentation of National Guard staff is not impacting civilian health care roles but rather freeing up health care professionals to work more effectively and efficiently.

“Currently, there are more than 310 Tennessee National Guardsmen supporting 24 hospitals and 8 monoclonal infusion centers statewide.”

The Tennessee Department of Military said since March 2020, the soldiers and airmen of the Tennessee National Guard have been working alongside and supporting the Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, and various other state and local agencies to combat the spread of COVID-19.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the Tennessee National Guard is prepared and ready to support any request for assistance through TEMA,” the release concludes.