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Arizona National Guard work picks up as virus cases rise

Members of the Arizona National Guard pack and sort food items at a food bank Thursday, March 26, 2020, in Mesa, Ariz. The Guard was at the food bank performing one of their first missions since they were activated by Gov. Doug Ducey to bolster the supply chain for food amid surging demand in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Posted at 1:11 PM, Mar 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-26 16:11:00-04

MESA, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona National Guard is stepping up its efforts to bolster the food supply amid extraordinary demand due to the coronavirus outbreak.

A few dozen soldiers packed bags of food Thursday at food banks in Mesa and Tucson, and others prepared to move goods between warehouses and grocery stores.

The missions come as state health officials say there is now “widespread” community spread of the virus from person to person.

The number of known cases of COVID-19 rose to 508 statewide with eight dead. All but Gila and Greenlee counties now have known cases and are subject to business restrictions imposed by Gov. Doug Ducey in areas with cases reported.