ROCKPORT — Seventeen members of the Maine National Guard will be deployed to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport to help with the surge of COVID-19 cases.

Gov. Janet Mills announced the deployment Friday, Jan. 14. The deployment will run through Feb. 25.

“Following engagement with Maine’s hospitals, Governor Janet Mills announced today that the 169 members of the Maine National Guard she activated earlier this week will deploy to 16 health care facilities across the state beginning Jan. 20,” the news release from the governor’s office stated.

They will serve in non-clinical support roles.

The governor activated the additional Guard members in response to record-high COVID-19 hospitalizations in Maine, the majority of which are among people who are not vaccinated, she stated. As of today, there are a near record high 424 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Maine, including 109 in critical care and 57 on ventilators, leaving 46 adult intensive care unit beds are available in Maine.

“I am grateful to the Maine National Guard and to health care workers across the state who are working day and night to save the lives of Maine people,” Mills said. “Maine people must now also do their part to stem this crisis: please step up and get vaccinated today, regardless of whether it’s your first shot or your third. Doing so may save your life or it may save a child too young to be vaccinated, and it will certainly spare our health care workers and National Guard members.”

One member of the National Guard is being assigned to the Miles campus of LincolnHealth in Damariscotta.

“I continue to be extremely proud of the men and women of the Maine National Guard, their families, and their employers,” said Major General Douglas Farnham. “Their assistance is making a real difference during this difficult period, and we will continue to do all we can in the fight COVID-19.”