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In the wake of Covid-19 increases, the governor of Ohio has deployed more than 1,000 members of the State National Guard to hospitals to help address staffing issues plaguing Ohio hospitals , many of which have suspended elective surgeries.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said the National Guard is expected to start arriving at hospitals on Monday.
Of the 1,050 members of the National Guard, 150 are highly trained medical personnel, nurses and paramedics, the governor said.
Medical staff, the governor said, will be strategically deployed statewide – and, subsequently, will be placed in hospitals at the discretion of administrators.
The governor said the Cleveland, Canton, Akron and Wooster areas were the main recipients of National Guard personnel given the high number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 these cities are currently seeing. DeWine added that he expected the 900 non-medical service members “to go anywhere in the state they are needed.”
The governor also pointed out that with 4,723 patients currently hospitalized because of Covid-19, the state has recorded the highest number of hospitalizations linked to Covid-19 since December 22, 2020.
Given the stress on hospital staff, DeWine noted that “almost all of the hospitals in Zone 1 – the northern part, just across the northern part of the state of Ohio – have stopped elective surgeries.” He added that some mid-level state hospitals have already suspended elective surgeries and others in the region will follow suit in the near future. And, in the southern part of the state, hospitals are currently considering stopping elective surgeries if necessary, he said.
The governor said 294,000 Ohioans received the first dose of the vaccine in November and a further 101,000 during the first two weeks of December.
Meanwhile, 945,000 Ohioans received their booster shots in November and 514,000 in the first two weeks of December, bringing the total number of Ohioans boosted in the past six weeks to around 1.5 million, a- he declared.