COLUMBUS — Governor Mike DeWine announced Monday that the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio National Guard, and the Ohio Hospital Association will expand coronavirus testing locations in nine cities, including several new locations, starting this week.
The additional testing locations will be mobilized with support from Ohio National Guard personnel. The locations, which are intended to divert testing traffic from hospital emergency rooms, come as the state is experiencing the highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations during the pandemic. Monday, the Ohio Hospital Association reported a record-setting 6,177 inpatient hospitalizations.
“As the demand for COVID-19 testing increases, adding to the pressure our hospitals are facing, members of the Ohio National Guard will continue to play a critical role in the state’s response,” DeWine said.“I commend Guard members for their commitment to their fellow Ohioans as they answer the call to serve.”
About 300 members of the Ohio National Guard will provide support at the additional testing sites, which will be operated in partnership with Ohio hospitals and health networks.
While the testing centers are critical to the state’s effort to decompress high volumes at hospitals around the state, the majority of Ohio National Guard members will remain in hospitals providing direct clinical care and non-clinical support.
Last week, DeWine ordered the mobilization of an additional 1,250 members of the Ohio National Guard to support Ohio’s hospitals experiencing the most critical needs across the state, bringing the total deployment of National Guard members working with Ohio’s healthcare systems to 2,300 members.
The Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Hospital Association are evaluating the situation in Ohio’s hospitals daily to assess and maximize staffing to ensure Guard members are assisting in locations with the most critical needs. Hospitalizations for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients and testing needs change every day, and staffing adjustments are being made accordingly.
At this time, the Ohio National Guard has either been deployed or will soon be deployed to support the following testing locations:
Cleveland: Walker Center (Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals), 10524 Euclid Ave.
Akron: Atrium Testing Site (Summa Health), 1077 Gorge Blvd.
Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, first floor of the CAS parking garage at 2540 Olentangy River Road, Columbus.
Dayton expanding capacity at existing testing locations.
COVID-19 vaccines are widely available throughout the state at doctor’s offices, community vaccine clinics, hospitals, community health centers and pharmacies.
More than 7 million Ohioans have received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. That is 63% of all eligible Ohioans, and 70% of Ohio adults. In addition, more than 2.7 million have received a booster dose.
Ohioans who want to learn more about COVID-19 testing, and the safety, efficacy and side effects of COVID-19 vaccines should talk to their doctor, nurse or pharmacist, or visit coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine.