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National Guard from Bloomington tested for COVID-19 before battling floodwaters

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BLOOMINGTON (WEEK) - Men and women from the Illinois National Guard, based in Bloomington, are headed to the Illinois River at Meredosia to help with sandbagging and monitoring the levee.

However, members of Company D, from th 766th Brigade Engineer Battalion, based in the Twin-Cities, have to be tested for COVID-19 before they're activated.

They have to complete a self-administered test for the coronavirus, causing some discomfort. Still, the guard is always eager to help, according to Sgt. Stephen Gifford.

"The Illinois National Guard is ready to respond to all of the community needs, and this is just another way," said Gifford.

"So, whether it will be helping with COVID-19 testing or throwing sandbags, we are a community-based organization that serves fellow Illinoisans however we can," Gifford added.

Meredosia is about 50 miles west of Springfield.

Howard Packowitz

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