COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Ohio Department of Health provided an update on COVID-19 in the state, Friday.  

ODH Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff was joined by leaders from the Ohio National Guard, as well as the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic, during the news conference.

Once again, Vanderhoff stressed the impact the pandemic was having on non-vaccinated people.  

“Our state is experiencing the highest number of COVID-19 driven in-patient hospitalizations, ICU admissions, patients on ventilators that we have seen throughout the entire pandemic. And sadly, these beds continue to be filled with better than nine out of 10 times by the unvaccinated.” 

Dr. Andy Thomas, Chief Clinical Officer with the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center talked during the news conference about the decision by hospitals in Healthcare Zone 2 to postpone non-essential surgeries until January 21, due to the increase of COVID cases.

“That’s a pretty drastic step, that hospitals are voluntarily taking, joining together in collaboration to try and support each other, so that we can have the capacity we need, where we need it,” said Thomas.

Major General John C. Harris, with the Ohio National Guard announced during the news conference that there were more than 1,200 guard members at 40 locations throughout the state, and 1,000 more are expected to be deployed next week.

On Thursday, the ODH reported another day of more than 19,000 COVID-19 cases. The 21-day case average is now above 14,900.