DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Governor Mike DeWine is sending more than 1,000 members of the Ohio National Guard to help hospitals that are coping with staffing challenges. The governor said the guardsmen should begin to move into hospitals on Monday.

“This is the highest number of patients we’ve had in our hospitals with COVID since Dec. 22, 2020,” DeWine said.

An unpleasant spike is also playing out across hospitals in the Miami Valley.

“We’re seeing most days 380-400 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 in our region. Today, we have 89 people in the ICU with 50 individuals on ventilators,” said President and CEO of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association Sarah Hackenbracht.

Hackenbracht said between 84 percent and 87 percent of the hospital’s COVID patients were never vaccinated.

The crisis puts a strain on hospital staff, both locally and across the state. Governor DeWine announced Friday that a total of 1,050 members of the National Guard will be going into hospitals starting Monday and will be in place at least until the end of the holiday season. An undisclosed staffing company will also help bring out-of-state nurses to Ohio.

“This will allow for Ohio hospitals to bring in qualified nurses and other medical personnel from out of state to fill needed positions and help ease some of the pressure on hospitals and their staff over the critical holiday period,” he said.

150 of the National Guard members are medically trained nurses and EMTs. A majority will be placed in areas that need them most, including Cleveland and Akron-Canton, but DeWine said the entire state should feel some relief.

“If there are non-clinical professionals who can assist in roles with patient transport, assistance with environmental services, food and beverage, and discharging paperwork and planning for families into the community, those are all opportunities we would see very beneficial to our staff,” Hackenbracht said.