Some members of the Ohio National Guard, part of a group of 1,500 deployed last week to help hospitals handle the Omicron surge of the COVID-19 pandemic will be stationed at Dayton Children’s Hospital’s Springboro campus.
According to several reports, the guardsmen will be working at a testing site at the hospital, where testing is in high demand.
“We are so thankful to Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio National Guard for their support and partnership,” Deborah A. Feldman, president and CEO for Dayton Children’s Hospital reportedly said. “It is only through collaboration like this that we are better able to serve our community and get through this together.”
Overall, 2,300 National Guardsmen have been deployed to various health centers across the state as Ohio averages about 20,000 new cases of COVID-19 daily. Despite the caseload, the seven-day average for deaths hovers steadily around its average for the entire pandemic.
“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,” DeWine said. “As cases increase across the state, the best thing Ohioans can do is to stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccine.”
In deploying the 1,500 troops last week, DeWine noted that he was unhappy with the number of Ohio National Guard members who had refused to take the vaccine.
About 56 percent of the state’s National Guardsmen are fully vaccinated.
“This is a high-risk operation, you need to be protected,” DeWine said in a Thursday visit with National Guard members. “The best way for you to be protected is to get the vaccination. So, look, we’re not happy with where we are. We’re going to continue to push that with our troops.”
“All of us depend on our hospitals to protect us, and now the National Guard is involved in protecting our hospitals,” he continued.
Unvaccinated guardsmen will not be deployed to aid healthcare workers.
Experts are saying that the Omicron wave is nearly over and that Americans can expect to see its decline in the coming weeks.
On CBS News’ “Face The Nation,” Dr. Scott Gottlieb who is the former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner, said earlier this week that the Omicron variant peaked in the United States, meaning that cases should begin to decline dramatically. Other news outlets have reported the same.
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