DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Ohio health leaders continue to sound the alarm as COVID-19 cases reach historic highs.

“The omicron variant continues to sweep through Ohio, fueling what is nothing short of a tidal wave of COVID-19 cases,” Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, director of the Ohio Department of Health, said.

The daily number of cases remains high and hospitalizations are still up. “Simply put, community spread is rampant,” Dr. Vanderhoff said.

Testing sites are also overwhelmed as more people become exposed. To alleviate some of that pressure, the Ohio National Guard was deployed to locations across the state. Within the last two weeks, Miami Valley Hospital received an additional unit of guardsmen and women to help with its OnMain testing site.

“They’re helping with administrative tasks, processing specimens and getting patients registered, and getting them processed through the system,” Mike Uhl, president of Miami Valley Hospital, said.

Miami Valley already has 80 members of the National Guard working within the hospital. This new unit will help expand testing and cut down on the number of people who go to the emergency room for a test.

“They’re giving us the ability again to process patients more efficiently who need those testing. So in theory, we’re able to run more efficient lines and provide more testing on a daily basis,” Uhl said.

The National Guard was also deployed to the testing site at Dayton Children’s Springboro location.