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Army confirms thousands of National Guard troops will remain in Washington into March

More than 5,000 National Guard troops will remain in Washington through mid-March...

Posted: Jan 25, 2021 2:42 PM

More than 5,000 National Guard troops will remain in Washington through mid-March to provide security amid concerns over potential unrest in the coming weeks, acting Secretary of the Army John Whitley said in a press briefing on Monday.

There are currently 15,000 troops in the city with the numbers due to be reduced to 7,000 by the end of the week and 5,600 by mid-March, according to National Guard Bureau Chief Gen. Daniel Hokanson.

Five hundred members will support the US Park Police and 550 members will support the Metropolitan Police Department over the next two weeks. Another 5,000 will continue supporting Capitol Police and 600 will support the US Secret Service through mid-March, Whitley said.

"There are several upcoming events -- we don't know what they are -- over the next several weeks, and they're concerned that there could be situations where there are lawful protests, First Amendment-protected protests, that could either be used by malicious actors, or other problems that could emerge," Whitley said.

As CNN previously reported, 25,000 National Guard troops were brought to Washington to help secure the city through President Joe Biden's inauguration following the deadly riot at the US Capitol earlier in the month. And discussions had been taking place to keep thousands of troops in the district until March because of concerns about potential unrest during the upcoming impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump and around Biden's first joint address to Congress.

The concerns stem from what defense officials say is ongoing chatter about demonstrations picked up by federal law enforcement. On Thursday, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser referenced "intelligence from our federal partners that would suggest that we need more presence," but she did not elaborate.

National Guard members remaining in Washington will provide the law enforcement agencies they are assisting with security, communication, medical evacuation, logistical and safety support, Whitley said.

It was also confirmed Monday that there has been a coronavirus outbreak among the National Guard troops in the city.

Two hundred National Guard troops have tested positive for Covid-19 while on duty in Washington, Major General William J. Walker, head of the DC National Guard, said. The 200 who have tested positive are being treated and quarantined, he added.

"Once we send a soldier or airman to a facility for a test, they come up positive, they are quarantined, and they remain here until they are cleared to go back to their state," Walker said.

Hokanson said each guardsman who has tested positive for Covid-19 will quarantine for 14 days in order to make sure they are fully recovered before they return home.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 217690

Reported Deaths: 2849
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah41633618
Washington27703258
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Jackson12414153
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Linn620281
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Grant5597
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Gilliam851
Sherman812
Wheeler381
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Cases: 3935590

Reported Deaths: 64341
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Los Angeles129039524658
Riverside3068364659
San Bernardino3058275236
San Diego2941763798
Orange2812285143
Santa Clara1228212099
Sacramento1146521775
Kern1129331420
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Contra Costa75842830
Stanislaus655371088
Tulare50324854
Monterey44438526
San Mateo44378588
San Francisco39939563
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Santa Barbara35546467
Merced32961484
Sonoma32526329
Imperial29048745
Placer24955307
Kings23566250
San Luis Obispo21970265
Madera16998249
Santa Cruz16532207
Marin14791239
Yolo14759215
Butte13176205
Shasta12925242
El Dorado11010120
Napa1040084
Sutter10126115
Yuba694951
San Benito626363
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Tehama583666
Nevada532475
Humboldt501053
Mendocino465851
Tuolumne446173
Lake415765
Amador386148
Siskiyou255440
Glenn246027
Colusa235718
Calaveras229558
Del Norte16128
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