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Ohio National Guard to Expand Support in Southwest Ohio; Two Testing Locations in Northeast Ohio Close


MEDIA CONTACTS: Ohio Department of Health: 614-644-8562 Ohio National Guard: 614-506-3490

Ohio National Guard to Expand Support in Southwest Ohio; Two Testing Locations in Northeast Ohio Close

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today announced that The Ohio National Guard is shifting resources to meet increasing needs in southern and western Ohio in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Changes in Guard deployment include new support for testing locations in Cincinnati and Springfield.

As a result of decreasing testing demand, COVID-19 testing sites at the Stark County Fairgrounds in Canton led by Aultman Hospital and Cleveland Clinic Mercy Hospital, and the Walker Center in Cleveland led by Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals closed over the weekend. Summit County’s drive-thru testing location in Akron closed Jan. 16.

The Guard continues its mission to support the state’s hardest-hit hospitals as COVID-19 case rates have surged, driving hospitalizations and ICU admissions this month to their highest levels throughout the pandemic. Resources from closed testing locations are being shifted to support area hospitals or other Guard missions in other parts of the state. The Guard is offering support in every region of Ohio, whether for testing site support, or clinical or non-clinical support in hospitals.

Current Guard deployments include 13 medical teams (about 130 Guard members) and 180 general support teams (about 1,800 Guard members). Of the general support teams, 24 (about 240 Guard members) are providing support at 18 testing centers, according to the Ohio National Guard. The Ohio National Guard and Ohio's State Defense Force continue to provide support across the state in response to the COVID pandemic with nearly 2,500 service members executing 10 active missions including vaccinations, warehouse support, and prison support.

National Guard Supported Testing Locations

As of today, the Guard is currently supporting or is preparing to support the following locations:

Information about Ohio National Guard support during the COVID-19 pandemic is updated daily at 2 p.m.

Please note that start dates and plans for pending locations are subject to change. Not all Guard members who have been deployed are located onsite yet. Testing locations supported by National Guard members will test individuals age 2 years and older. Check with your local testing site for potential age restrictions.

ODH has been working closely with the Guard, OHA, and the hospital zone leaders to identify where these resources can have the most impact for the overall statewide hospital infrastructure. Hospitalizations for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients and testing needs change every day, and staffing adjustments are being made accordingly.