COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Ohio Department of Health anticipates hundreds of Ohio National Guard members will be deployed later this week to assist hospitals throughout the state.
Last week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced he mobilized 1,050 National Guard members to help ease a strain on hospital staff caused by the rising number of COVID-19 patients on wards.
On Monday, a spokesperson for ODH said the department is working with the National Guard on training before members are deployed in waves.
She said the department anticipates all 150 of the clinical members mobilized and up to 600 non-clinical staff being deployed by later this week, with the remaining 300 to be deployed next week.
Mount Carmel, OhioHealth and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center all said they have requested non-clinical support from the National Guard.
Marti Leitch, from the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, said that system has requested 22 guard members to assist with food service and 33 members to assist with environmental services, such as cleaning rooms.
Mount Carmel issued a statement that reads, in part: “We are hopeful our request will be granted as COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to increase, with potentially our largest surge yet on the horizon.”
OhioHealth also issued a statement that states, in part: “The majority of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are not vaccinated. We encourage everyone to help slow the spread, reduce your risk of hospitalization and help preserve hospital resources by getting the vaccine or booster, if you are eligible.”
According to ODH, a list of hospitals utilizing the National Guard is not yet available and more information will be forthcoming.