COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio National Guard members have completed their mission of helping communities and health workers during the omicron variant wave of COVID-19, Ohio’s health director said Thursday. It’s another milestone that further indicates the virus is greatly improving statewide.

“At one point, the Ohio National Guard had 2,000 members deployed at 62 facilities and 18 testing centers all around the state,” Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff told reporters. “On Tuesday, exactly two months after their mission began, Guard members left the last two facilities they were supporting.”

Those facilities were ProMedica in Toledo and Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton. Vanderhoff discussed the state of COVID-19 in Ohio in a Thursday press conference. Watch it in full here on

Vanderhoff was also joined by Dr. Amy Edwards, Associate Medical Director of Women’s and Children’s Infection Control at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, and Dr. Joe Gastaldo, Medical Director of Infectious Diseases at OhioHealth.

COVID-19 numbers in Ohio are at points not seen since August, with case numbers and hospitalizations all trending down.

New cases have fallen in Ohio for nearly two months. After multiple days in December and January of more than 20,000 cases, Vanderhoff said, the state is now averaging around 2,800 cases a day with several days under 1,000.

The state’s rate of new cases per 100,000 residents in the past two weeks is at 174, he said, a drop of more than 90% since omicron’s peak. Nine northern Ohio counties are below 100 cases per 100,000, a good sign for central Ohio because the omicron wave went north-to-south.

At the peak of hospitalizations, more than 6,700 Ohioans were in the hospital for COVID-19. Yesterday, that number was 1,345, the fewest since August.

Franklin County dropped from the highest level of COVID-19 transmission on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s map Wednesday, pushing Columbus one step closer to lifting its mask mandate. It and most Ohio counties, however, are still seeing “substantial” or “high” virus transmission.

“The fact is that COVID-19 is still a real presence in Ohio,” Vanderhoff said. “And as much as we look forward to declaring that we’re in the all-clear, the data still point toward caution and tell us we’re not quite there yet.”