Massachusetts activates National Guard to support hospitals

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker says he will activate up to 500 members of the National Guard to support understaffed hospitals across the state facing a surge of COVID-19 patients and to bolster non-emergency medical transportation needs.

The state announced Tuesday that up to 300 Guard members will begin training this week to provide nonclinical support at 55 acute care hospitals and 12 ambulance service providers. They will be deployed Dec. 27.

In addition, the state Department of Public Health directed all hospitals effective Dec. 27 to postpone or cancel all nonessential elective procedures likely to result in admission.