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'We are tired, we are frustrated' | DeWine mobilizes additional 1,250 members of Ohio National Guard to help with hospital staffing

On Wednesday, the Ohio Department of Health reported 20,320 new cases of COVID-19.

Jenson Strock

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Published: 3:14 PM EST December 29, 2021
Updated: 3:33 PM EST January 1, 2022

More members of the Ohio National Guard will soon be sent out to hospitals across the state, as the current COVID-19 surge continues to break records.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Wednesday that an additional 1,250 troops will be mobilized to help ease the strain staffing shortages are having on health care facilities.

"This is not something that we do lightly," DeWine said, noting that the move requires members of the national guard to pick up and leave their families, jobs and homes.

Major General John C. Harris, Jr. with the Ohio National Guard said that the majority of troops are currently in the Cleveland area, with roughly 460 members of the guard in that region. However, more than 160 people are also here in the Toledo area and another 100 are set up in Columbus. These numbers could fluctuate, however, as the situation changes.

Harris said his team has daily planning meetings to look at the numbers and identify hot spots, giving them the ability to lift and shift resources based on demand. The guard, Harris explained Wednesday, has two missions: to augment medical staff and to augment wraparound services as hospital capacities increase.