COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) – “Our hospitals need help now.”

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff pleaded with the public Wednesday to do their part to help fight the COVID pandemic.

In addition to help from the community, the hospitals are getting a boost from members of the Ohio National Guard.

Wednesday in a press conference, Dr. Vanderhoff spoke with Major General John C. Harris, Jr., Adjutant General of the Ohio National Guard who is overseeing the deployment of national guard troops to help ease the burden on the state’s hospitals.

They announced where guard members will be deploying.

Here is the list:

  • Cleveland Clinic Akron General Medical Center (Summit county)
  • Summa Health Akron City Hospital (Summit county)
  • Cleveland Clinic Mercy Hospital (Stark county)
  • Mercy Health St. Elizabeth Hospital (Mahoning county)
  • Mercy Health St. Joseph Hospital (Trumbull county)
  • Promedica Hospital in Toledo (Lucas county)
  • Mercy Health St. Vincent Hospital (Lucas county)

More hospitals will “likely be added,” Dr. Vanderhoff said.

This is in addition to the mass testing site currently in operation at the W.O. Walker building.

New registrations for the site were closed Tuesday because of overwhelming demand.

Harris says they’re still trying to understand their capacity at that site and looking to add other sites as well.

Harris says the guard members will be on duty for “an extended period of time,” and that the deployment will last as long as it needs to.

Guard members are undergoing pre-deployment training with some guidelines from ODH regarding HIPAA and other medical protocols.

Those with hospital backgrounds will likely work in emergency rooms.

Other guard members will help with whatever is needed to provide some relief to hospital staff.