400 National Guard members moving from NE Ohio to Dayton, Cincinnati area

Members will help with relief in hospitals due to COVID-19 surge

MIAMI VALLEY — The Ohio National Guard is in the process of disengaging about 400 members currently serving in the northeast section of the state to move them to the Dayton and Cincinnati area as COVID-19 hospitalizations remain high, state health leadership said Thursday.

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said the state is seeing “many signs of improvement” in the areas first hit by a COVID-19 surge driven by the omicron variant. That area of northeast Ohio has seen a 24 percent decrease in COVID-19 related hospitalizations over the last week, data from the Ohio Hospital Association shows.

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The COVID-19 omicron surge is now impacting the Dayton and Cincinnati regions the most, Vanderhoff said. While OHA data shows a six percent decrease in hospitalizations in the Miami Valley region over the last seven days, ICU admissions related to COVID-19 are up 17 percent during the same time.

“Things continue in our Dayton area continue to be very critical,” said Dr. Roberto Colon with Miami Valley Hospital. “We are still seeing high-rates of hospitalizations.”

On Wednesday, the Miami Valley region had 596 people hospitalized with COVID-19, which still remains above the initial COVID-19 peak in December 2020.

Colon said 83 percent of the people in the hospital locally are unvaccinated.

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The National Guard arrived in the Miami Valley several weeks ago, and Colon said their arrival has be “an incredibly welcome sight.”

“It’s been a tremendous help,” Colon said. When the guard members walked through one of the unit’s at Miami Valley Hospital, “everyone in the unit immediately stopped and started clapping,” he said.

Vanderhoff said Dayton Children’s Hospital is treating a record number of children with COVID-19 at its facility, adding that the vast majority of the the children were unvaccinated.

Colon said vaccination remains critical to the response to the pandemic, saying our hospitalizations would be much lower if more of people would get vaccinated.