KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The University of Tennessee Medical Center announced Monday it had welcomed members of the Tennessee National Guard, whose assistance had been requested last week to assist the hospital with the new surge of COVID-19 cases.

Ten Tennessee National Guard service members arrived at the hospital on Monday. They were welcomed by Dr. James Shamiyeh and Dr. Sandy Leake.

UT Medical officials said the service members will assist its team “in various duties to help care for our patients in the ED, ICUs and acute care units.”

“Please help us welcome and show appreciation for this National Guard team and their service in this challenging time.”

Early last week, guardsmen and women deployed to Morristown.

Hospitals in East Tennessee have reported an uptick in COVID-19 patients and cases in recent weeks. At UT Medical, there are 149 COVID-19 hospitalizations, according to its COVID dashboard’s Aug. 30 numbers. The 30-day trend at the hospital shows the uptick began in late July from below 50 COVID-19 patients to the current number.

The Tennessee Department of Military said since March 2020, the soldiers and airmen of the Tennessee National Guard have been working alongside and supporting the Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, and various other state and local agencies to combat the spread of COVID-19.