How long the guard will be at the testing site, will largely depend on the demand for those testing services, Smith said, noting that members of the Ohio National Guard would likely be there at least until mid February.
That recent deployment follows a shift in national guard resources across the state.
Some resources have been reallocated from counties that have seen a decrease in the demand for COVID-19 testing in order to support harder hit areas as there has been a surge in new cases driving hospitalizations and ICU admissions in the state this month to their highest levels throughout the pandemic.
Testing sites at the Stark County Fairgrounds in Canton, the Walker Center in Cleveland and Summit County’s drive-thru testing location in Akron all closed either over the weekend or earlier this month due to a decrease in testing demand in those areas, according to the Ohio National Guard.
“Resources from closed testing locations are being shifted to support area hospitals or other Guard missions in other parts of the state. The Guard is offering support in every region of Ohio, whether for testing site support, or clinical or non-clinical support in hospitals,” said a Monday news release from Gov. Mike DeWine’s office.
The Ohio National Guard currently has 13 medical teams, roughly 130 Guard members, and 180 support teams, roughly 1,800 Guard members, deployed in the state. Of those support teams, 24 of them or roughly 240 Guard members are providing support at 18 testing centers in the state.
The news of guard members being deployed at a testing site in Springfield follows the arrival of troops last week to Mercy Health-Springfield Regional Medical Center. That included 20 clinical and non-clinical guard members to support healthcare teams and providers, according to Mercy Health.