Latest on the coronavirus pandemic and the Omicron variant – CNN

In the wake of Covid-19 upticks, the Ohio governor deployed more than 1,000 members of the state’s National Guard to hospitals to help assuage staffing issues plaguing Ohio hospitals, many of which have paused elective surgeries.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said the National Guard should begin arriving in hospitals on Monday.

Of the 1,050 National Guard members, 150 are highly-trained medical personnel, nurses and EMTs, the governor said.

The medical personnel, the governor said, will be deployed strategically throughout the state — and, subsequently, will be placed within hospitals at administrators’ discretion.

The governor said the Cleveland, Canton, Akron and Wooster areas were the primary recipients of National Guard personnel given the high number of confirmed Covid-19 cases that these cities are currently seeing. DeWine added that he anticipates the 900 non-medical service members will “go anywhere in the state that they’re needed.” 

The governor also emphasized that with 4,723 patients currently hospitalized because of Covid-19, the state is seeing the highest number of Covid-19-related hospitalizations since Dec. 22, 2020. 

Given the stress placed on hospital staff, DeWine noted that “almost all hospitals in Zone 1 — the northern part, right across the northern part of the state of Ohio — have stopped elective surgeries.” He added that some hospitals in the state’s middle tier have already paused elective surgeries and that others in the area will be following suit in the near future. And, in the state’s southern tier, hospitals are currently making plans to halt elective surgeries as necessary, he said. 

The governor did stress that 294,000 Ohioans got the first vaccine dose in November and another 101,000 in the first two weeks of December.

Meanwhile, 945,000 Ohioans received their booster shots in November and 514,000 in the first two weeks of December, bringing the total number of Ohioans boosted in the last six weeks or so to 1.5 million, he said.