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100 National Guardsmen Now Helping With Staffing Issues At Mount Carmel East Hospital

The Mercy Health – St. Vincent Medical Center welcomes members of the Ohio National Guard Joint Task Force to help the hospital on December 23, 2021.
Mercy Health - Toledo
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The Mercy Health – St. Vincent Medical Center welcomes members of the Ohio National Guard Joint Task Force to help the hospital on December 23, 2021. Gov. Mike DeWine has ordered 1,050 members of the Ohio National Guard to hospitals around the state that need help dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

About 100 National Guardsmen are now helping a Central Ohio hospital struggling with a record number of COVID-19 patients and a record number of new infections.

The Guardsmen are on the job at Mount Carmel East Hospital after spending Tuesday in training. They come at a critical time to help with hospital staffing. Many healthcare workers are out sick with the virus that is again surging through Ohio.

"The goal here is to expand the hospital's capacity because most of the hospitals tell us their challenge is not shortage of beds, but shortage of staffing to staff those beds,” said Major General John Harris, Commander of the Ohio Army National Guard.

At a news conference on Wednesday Governor Mike DeWine announced he has asked Major General Harris to mobilize 1250 more troops to help Ohio hospitals.

The decision comes as Ohio breaks two new records. More than 5,356 people are now hospitalized with COVID-19. The previous record for COVID-19 hospitalizations was 5,308 on Dec. 15, 2020. Ohio also set a new record for daily reported COVID-19 cases Wednesday, at 20,320 cases.

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center has requested 50 National Guardsmen to help in non-critical roles.