COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced an additional 1,250 members of the Ohio National Guard will be mobilized to help hospitals in the state with COVID-19 staffing issues.

The governor said he asked Maj. Gen. John Harris to begin the process following a call he had with hospitals officials Wednesday morning.

“The hospitals asked me to deploy more members of the Ohio National Guard. They needed those and they needed us to start moving on that,” DeWine said. “This is not something that we do lightly.”

Harris said there are already about 460 members of the Ohio National Guard in the Cleveland area, 160 in Toledo and 100 in Columbus. Smaller numbers will be in Dayton, Mansfield and Lima.

“The goal is to expand the hospital’s capacity. Most of the hospitals tell us their challenge isn’t the shortage of beds, but shortage of staffing to staff those beds,” Harris said.