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Government/Politics

DeWine is deploying Ohio National Guard members to hospitals around the state

DeWine At Mansion 1
Daniel Konik
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) is interviewed at the Governor's Residence on December 14, 2021.

The governor is activating 1,050 members of the national guard to address hospital staffing issues.

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) announced Friday that he is ordering 1,050 members of the Ohio National Guard to hospitals around the state that need help dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of those 1,050 members, 150 will be medical personnel and the other 900 will help with other needs.

DeWine says Major General John Harris, Ohio National Guard adjutant general, will be strategically selecting which members will be deployed in a way that avoids pulling nurses, doctors, and other health care workers from one struggling hospital just to send to another struggling hospital.

"These 150 represent people that we would not be seeing that trade off, robbing Peter to pay Paul, we don't want to be doing that," says DeWine.

The 150 medical personnel guard members will primarily be sent to northeast Ohio which is seeing the brunt of the COVID-19 surge.

DeWine says the administration is also looking into other ways to support recovery efforts for hospital staff experiencing pandemic fatigue, such as using additional CARES Act funds for counseling.

"It's very understandable why people are burned out. It's very understandable why people are tired. It's understandable why people are discouraged, and we will do whatever, certainly whatever we can to be of help," says DeWine.

The governor noted that the surge of COVID-19 is reaching all-time high numbers again and that hospitals in the northern part of the state have already canceled elective surgeries.

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