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‘Our hospitals are swamped’: Ohio hospital to receive federal assistance with COVID-19 response

As of last week, Ohio is experiencing its highest number of COVID-related hospital admissions since the start of the pandemic.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Military medical personnel sent by the federal government will soon be helping combat what health officials are calling record-shattering COVID-19 hospitalizations in Ohio. 

The Ohio Department of Health addressed President Joe Biden's plans on Thursday to send 1,000 military medics to hospitals in six states. According to Biden, those medics will assist hospitals currently struggling with staffing shortages and an influx of COVID-19 patients. 

That includes the Cleveland Clinic in northeastern Ohio; the region where the majority of the state's COVID-19 hospitalizations have been reported. 

Of the more than 6,500 total virus hospitalizations reported last Thursday, Cleveland Clinic Chief Medical Operation Officer Dr. Robert Wyllie said roughly 3,700 to 3,800 were in northern Ohio.

A team of 20 medical professionals with the U.S. Airforce are expected to arrive at Cleveland Clinic's main campus next week. According to Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, the team will consist of nurses, physicians and respiratory therapists. 

This comes as Ohio continues to experience its highest number of COVID-related hospital admissions since the start of the pandemic. 

"Hospitalizations across Ohio have shattered records this month. Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio has surpassed 100,000 total coronavirus hospitalizations, and we passed that mark earlier this week," said Vanderhoff, adding, "Our hospitals are swamped." 

Simultaneously, Vanderhoff says the state is seeing "historically high" daily COVID-19 case counts, averaging over 17,000 new cases per day. 

"Simply put, community spread is rampant," said Vanderhoff.   

In addition to the new assistance, the state will continue to enlist help from the Ohio National Guard. More members will be deployed to support locations in Toledo, Mansfield and Gallipolis.  

As of Thursday, roughly 2,300 guard members have been deployed to 60 locations throughout the state. 

"One of the great things about the National Guard, quite frankly, is that we are configured for national disasters and emergency response and this, in fact, is that type of disaster," said Maj. General John C. Harris with the Ohio National Guard. 

You can watch Thursday’s briefing in the player below:

COVID-19 in Ohio: Recent Coverage ⬇️