Gov. DeWine to send 1,050 National Guard members into hospitals to help with staffing shortages

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Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has issued an order to deploy 1,050 members of the National Guards into hospitals effective Monday to ease staffing issues.

“Earlier in the pandemic, our concern was about beds, about space,” he said in a morning news conference. “Today it is about personnel.”

DeWine said the guard members would be on duty starting Monday. Of the 1,050, 150 of them are trained medical professionals. The remainder will be doing other duties like “transport within the hospital, food and the environmental work that goes on in hospitals and is so very important every single day,” the governor said.

He said the state also was working with staffing agencies to bring in workers from out-of-state to assist.

The Ohio Department of Health also reported an increase of more than 11,000 new COVID-19 cases Thursday. Though the number included a backlog of positive test results. 

Gov. DeWine expects the omicron variant to sweep across the State of Ohio. “Bringing in the National Guard was not a decision to be taken lightly.”

DeWine stated, “There is no timeline for National Guard deployment.”