Ohio National Guard’s COVID mission ending in Dayton area

Members of the Ohio National Guard are helping at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton as Ohio experiences staffing shortages at hospitals across the state during the COVID-19 pandemic. Guard members arrived on Dec. 30, 2021, for orientation and have been assisting with food service, environmental services, patient transport and other non-clinical jobs. The National Guard is also helping with Premier Health’s COVID testing site located across from MVH on Main Street. Photo courtesy Premier Health

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Members of the Ohio National Guard are helping at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton as Ohio experiences staffing shortages at hospitals across the state during the COVID-19 pandemic. Guard members arrived on Dec. 30, 2021, for orientation and have been assisting with food service, environmental services, patient transport and other non-clinical jobs. The National Guard is also helping with Premier Health’s COVID testing site located across from MVH on Main Street. Photo courtesy Premier Health

The hundreds of Ohio National Guard members assisting Dayton-area hospitals and coronavirus testing sites are leaving as the recent Omicron surge abates.

One unit left Dayton Children’s testing site earlier this week.

About 2,000 National Guard members were deployed across Ohio in December and January to assist in hospitals and testing sites. As of Tuesday, that number had decreased to 1,200 Guard members, Ohio Department of Health Director Bruce Vanderhoff said Thursday morning.

“This has been an extraordinary intervention and one that’s made a big difference for so many hospitals and the communities they serve,” Vanderhoff said. “While the National Guard may be leaving hospitals or testing centers, it’s certainly not time for us to let our guard down.”

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The schedule for when guard members have left or will leave Dayton-area locations is as follows.

Testing sites:

  • Dayton Children’s Hospital, Springboro: Feb. 7
  • Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton: Feb. 11
  • Clark County Combined Health District, Springfield: Feb. 18

Hospital support:

  • Mercy Health - Springfield Regional Medical Center: Feb. 11
  • Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton: Feb. 22
  • Premier Atrium Medical Center, Middletown: Feb. 11

About 20 Guard members helped Dayton Children’s coronavirus testing site in Springboro triple its capacity during the COVID-19 Omicron wave in January.

“Testing is just returning to the level it was at before the surge,” said Dayton Children’s spokeswoman Katie Solovey. “During the surge, the demand was much higher and we needed help to meet that demand. All hours and locations are staying as is. Just no national guard members there.”

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This comes as hospitalizations and cases across the state have decreased in recent weeks.

Compared to three weeks ago, COVID inpatients have decreased 38% in west central Ohio and dropped 40% in southwest Ohio, according to the Ohio Hospital Association.

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