(WKBN) – The Ohio National Guard is coming to the Valley.
Ohio Department of Health Director Bruce Vanderhoff made the announcement Wednesday morning after he said hospitals in the northeast are overwhelmed.
They’ll be coming to St. Elizabeth Health Center and St. Joseph Warren Hospital.
Governor Mike DeWine announced earlier this week that 1,000 troops will be deployed. By the end of the week, 600 troops will be helping in all capacities.
Major General John C. Harris, Jr. said troops will act as nurses and EMTs while others may step into non-clinical roles.
“And they are the ones who cover a variety of tasks inside the hospital facilities. If might be as simple as cleaning surfaces to transporting food to transport patients to anything we can do to take the load off the clinical staff so the clinical staff can focus on critical care,” he said.
Mery Health released the following statement on Wednesday:
Mercy Health – Youngstown is grateful to Gov. DeWine for providing additional resources to our hospitals during this extremely challenging time. We have been informed that 20 EMT-trained National Guardsmen will be assisting our teams as we continue to care for all those in our community as we work through this recent COVID-19 spike. We look forward to welcoming the men and women of the Ohio National Guard into our hospitals and will continue to work with the governor’s office to address critical staffing issues that impact the region.
While we are thankful for assistance, Mercy Health asks that our communities do their part to stay safe as we enter this holiday season– including wearing masks when appropriate, frequent hand washing, and avoiding contact with others if not feeling well. Additionally, we strongly recommend the COVID-19 vaccine because it is safe, highly effective and the way our communities will move beyond this pandemic.