NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Saying they need ‘to be prepared to assist with response efforts for COVID-19’ Texas Governor Greg Abbott activated the Texas National Guard on Tuesday.

Abbott said the move would ensure the Texas National Guard will be ready and available to assist across the state when and where needed.

Calling the action a precautionary measure Abbott said, “By activating the Texas National Guard, we are ensuring Texas is prepared as we continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

As of Tuesday morning there were some 69 positive cases of the coronavirus across Texas — including 28 in Dallas County and 6 in Tarrant. The state had it’s first coronavirus-related death on Sunday — a man in his 90s in Matagorda County, southwest of Houston.

Only healthcare workers and first-responders who are members of the Texas National Guard are excluded from the activation.

It’s been nearly three years since the Texas National Guard was last called into service — during Hurricane Harvey.