COVID-19 updates
Ohio National Guard Deployment, Hospitals, Vaccination and Prevention, Masking in Schools, Holidays,
Emergency Use Authorization for Two COVID-19 Oral Therapeutics, COVID-19 Booster Information &
Current Case Data 
December 30, 2021

Wednesday, the Ohio Hospital Association (OHA) reported that 5,356 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19. One in four patients are COVID-19 positive. This surpasses the previous hospitalizations record of 5,308 on Dec. 15, 2020. Of these hospitalizations, 1,228 patients are in the ICU, which is approaching the record high of 1,318 ICU patients reported on Dec. 15, 2020.

Ohio National Guard Deployment
As hospitals struggle with staffing to support the surge in COVID-19 patients, Governor DeWine announced during a press conference Wednesday, that he has asked Major General John C. Harris, Jr., Adjutant General, Ohio National Guard, to mobilize an additional 1,250 members of the Ohio National Guard, bringing the total deployment of National Guard members working with Ohio’s health care systems to 2,300 members.


Governor DeWine previously authorized the deployment of 1,050 Ohio National Guard members on Friday, Dec. 17. Major General Harris said the Ohio National Guard’s goal is to augment hospitals’ medical staff and wraparound services. Teams including nurses and medics will provide clinical care and non-medical teams will offer support services such as food service, patient transportation within facilities, and administrative support.


Approximately 460 Guard members are deployed in the Cleveland area; more than 160 in the Toledo area; about 100 in Columbus area. Smaller numbers of the Guard will be deployed in the coming days in Mansfield, Dayton, and Lima to support hospitals. Guard personnel are also supporting testing sites in Cleveland and Akron.


The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the OHA are working daily with Ohio hospitals to assess staffing needs to determine the most appropriate support from the Ohio National Guard.

Hospitals have been taking extraordinary measures to manage this COVID-19 surge, including postponing elective surgeries, while battling staffing shortages as a result of COVID-19 infection or exposure, and burnout.  


The northern parts of Ohio have been particularly hard hit, especially the greater Cleveland area, where one in three patients are COVID-19 positive, including ICU patients, according to OHA data.


Statewide, the COVID-19 positivity rate is 25%, according to ODH data.


The state’s strategic hospital zone and region structure has allowed hospitals to work together with neighboring hospitals to balance the load of patients. This structure continues to be vital as cases and hospitalizations dramatically rise statewide and staffing remains a significant concern.


While Southwest Ohio is not seeing the same volume of patients as northern parts of the state, Richard P. Lofgren, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer, UC Health, expressed concerns about the surge in cases making its way across the entire state during the coming weeks.


Governor DeWine also spoke with Jennifer Hollis, a critical care nurse at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, about her experience in the hospital.

Vaccination and Prevention
Governor DeWine emphasized that the COVID-19 vaccines remain a powerful tool to keep people out of the hospital. Since June 1, 2021, there have been 35,962 admissions, and 92.5% of those have been among people who are not fully vaccinated.


Now more than ever, it’s critical to follow prevention strategies including getting vaccinated, getting a booster shot if eligible, wearing face masks, washing your hands frequently, getting tested, and staying home if sick, even if symptoms are mild.


As of Wednesday, more than 6.9 million Ohioans have received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. That’s 63% of those Ohioans eligible (ages 5 and older). More than 2.6 million have received an additional dose, or a booster dose.

Masking in Schools

The OHA distributed a letter from the Ohio Hospital Association and Ohio Children’s Hospital Association to Ohio school superintendents, administrators and school board members encouraging them to implement a masking requirement when students return from the holiday break. A masking requirement in schools will help limit community spread of COVID-19 and keep students in school, the letter said. 

Dr. Vanderhoff encouraged Ohioans to celebrate safely this holiday weekend so we can all have a healthy start to 2022. “As we get ready to ring in a new year, please, think about the steps you can take to prevent COVID-19 spread before you gather. Keeping vaccinations up to date, appropriate testing, staying home if you feel the least bit sick, masking especially in crowded indoor environments, proper ventilation, and regular handwashing can all help prevent the spread of COVID-19, flu, and other illnesses this season,” he said.

Emergency Use Authorization for Two COVID-19 Oral Therapeutics

Two oral therapeutics, Pfizer’s Paxlovid and Merck’s molnupiravir, were recently granted emergency use authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of COVID-19. 


Click here to read ODH's full memo.

COVID-19 Booster Information 

Below you will find resources that may be helpful in communicating the importance of the COVID-19 booster to patients.


Current Case Data

In-depth COVID-19 data for Ohio:

Ohio's central scheduling system:

All vaccine providers:

More vaccine information:


Video of the most recent updates, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on The Ohio Channel's YouTube page


For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is leading Ohio’s pandemic response. If you have questions or concerns about their programs, please use the links below. SMBO will continue to share information from ODH as it is received. 

Trusted Resources 

Provider Wellness Resources

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