PARMA, Ohio — As COVID-19 case numbers continue to surge in Northeast Ohio, members of the Ohio National Guard have been deployed to area medical facilities to help support staff that are being stretched to the limits.
On Monday, the first Guard members began arriving at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center, much to the appreciation of the staff at that location.
"The staffing levels have been very challenging," says Dr. Robyn Strosaker, chief operating officer at University Hospitals' Cleveland Medical Center. "Like many other industries we have had a labor shortage for the better part of 2021 over the past few weeks we've had our team members sidelined with covid “
The kind of support the troops will provide will vary depending on training and location, ranging from working as highly trained nurses and EMTs to helping with transportation and food service.
Cuyahoga County current has the highest COVID-19 case numbers in the state of Ohio, and at one point last week the county was clocking the third highest numbers in the nation.
Ohio National Guard members begin arriving across Northeast Ohio to support medical staff amid a COVID-19 case surge
Guard members will also deploy to Summit County, where they'll help run a drive-through COVID-19 testing site, beginning on Tuesday.
Medical professionals continue to remind Ohioans that the best possible protection against severe illness, and overwhelming the medical system, is for people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and to get a booster shot once they become eligible.
Officials believe the omicron COVID variant is responsible for multiple record-breaking days in terms of new reported cases in Ohio.
On Monday, the Ohio Department of Health reported 8,092 new COVID-19 cases within the last 24 hours.