Dec 18, 2021 - Health

Ohio National Guard dispatched to hospitals as COVID cases surge

Photo of a health care worker standing outside an ICU room in a hospital ward

A health care professional suits up to enter a COVID patient's room in the ICU at Van Wert County Hospital in Ohio on Nov. 20, 2020. Photo: Megan Jelinger/AFP via Getty Images

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Friday that he has mobilized 1,050 members of the National Guard to assist with COVID-related staffing issues in hospitals across the state.

Why it matters: More than 4,700 people are currently hospitalized in Ohio for COVID — equating to 1 in every 5 hospital patients, according to DeWine's office.

  • "This is the highest number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 this year, and the number of hospitalized patients is rapidly approaching an all-time high."

Details: Out of the 1,050 National Guard members dispatched to hospitals, roughly 150 are highly trained medical professionals.

  • The rest will take on service roles with patient transport, housekeeping and food distribution.

The big picture: Health officials have warned that with Omicron spreading across the country, hospitals will remain overwhelmed.

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