Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today announced additional Guard deployments to support COVID-19 testing locations across the state, including three testing locations in Cincinnati.
“We are grateful that National Guard members are continuing to fill critical roles in our state's response to this pandemic, especially as the strain on our health care providers continues,” said Governor DeWine. “As cases increase across the state, the best thing Ohioans can do is to stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccine.”
The National Guard is now supporting 12 testing locations across the state as part of ongoing efforts to ease some of the burden on the state’s hardest-hit hospitals as Ohio is experiencing the highest number of COVID-19 driven inpatient hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and patients on ventilators seen throughout the pandemic. Today, the Ohio Hospital Association reported 6,727 inpatient hospitalizations.
At this time, the Ohio National Guard has been deployed to support the following testing locations:
“Our men and women are supporting about a dozen testing sites throughout Ohio, helping to provide additional opportunities for our fellow Ohioans to be tested for COVID-19. We have been fulfilling COVID-19 missions for more than 20 months, and we are committed to supporting our state during this time of need,” said Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr., Ohio adjutant general.
The total deployment of National Guard members working with Ohio’s healthcare systems is now at 2,300 members. This includes approximately 200 Guard members offering medical support, and approximately 2,100 offering general support, including testing, food services, in-hospital patient transportation, administrative tasks, and more.
The testing locations are helping to divert testing traffic from hospital emergency rooms. For example, since the launch of the Walker Testing Center in Cleveland, more than 22,000 people have been tested, averaging more than 1,100 people daily.
“Ohio hospitals appreciate the continued support and service of the Ohio National Guard during this critical time of healthcare need related to COVID-19. The testing locations organized by the Guard and hospitals have been extremely important to provide this dedicated service to give better access to testing while alleviating demand of hospitals’ emergency departments. We will continue to assess daily the needs for testing and the best utilization of Guard support during this surge,” according to a statement from the Ohio Hospital Association.
The Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Hospital Association are evaluating the situation in Ohio’s hospitals daily to assess and maximize staffing to ensure Guard members are assisting in locations with the most critical needs. Hospitalizations for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients and testing needs change every day, and staffing adjustments are being made accordingly.
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, maintaining up-to-date vaccination remains the best tool against COVID-19 hospitalization and death. As Ohio is experiencing record-setting hospitalizations amid the spread of the Delta and Omicron variants, it’s critical that Ohioans follow prevention strategies including getting vaccinated, getting a booster shot if eligible, wearing face masks, washing hands frequently, getting tested, and staying home if sick, even if symptoms are mild.
COVID-19 vaccines are widely available throughout the state at doctor’s offices, community vaccine clinics, hospitals, community health centers, pharmacies, and more.
Statewide, many providers offer walk-in appointments, or Ohioans can schedule a vaccination appointment at gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.