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(Columbus)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has mobilized 1,050 members of the Ohio National Guard to help relieve the hospital staffing strain caused by the rising number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients is causing. Of the total mobilized guard members, approximately 150 are highly-trained medical professionals and will deploy to help meet critical needs at hospitals and testing locations. The remaining 900 guard members will help with patient transport, housekeeping, and food services. Guard members will be brought on duty beginning on Monday.
The Ohio Department of Health is working with an Ohio health care staffing company to help meet hospital staffing needs. This agreement will allow for Ohio hospitals to bring in qualified nurses and other providers from out-of-state to fill needed positions to help ease some of the current added pressure on hospitals and staff.
More than 4,700 people are currently hospitalized in Ohio fighting COVID-19, that equates to one in every 5 hospital patients. 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.
Due to the increase in COVID-19 hospital admisions many hospitals have been forced to postpone elective surgeries, transfer patients to other hospitals, impose visitation standards, and/or implement what they call “crisis standards of care,” in which they have no choice but to take extraordinary steps to care for patients in ways that aren’t typical, such as providing intensive care in emergency rooms or in post-surgical units.
In Northern Ohio (Ohio Hospital Zone 1) most hospitals have suspended elective surgeries. In Central and Southeast Ohio (Ohio Hospital Zone 2), the same thing is beginning to happen. In Southeast Ohio, (Ohio Hospital Zone 3), hospital leaders are preparing to take similar action.