COLUMBUS, Ohio – Gov. Mike DeWine and first lady Fran DeWine on Thursday met with members of the Ohio National Guard deploying to hospitals as the coronavirus surge continues to put pressure on medical caregivers statewide.

Just hours after the DeWines' event at the Defense Supply Center Columbus, officials announced that hospitals in several counties in central, southern and southeastern Ohio were uniformly postponing elective surgeries requiring an overnight stay through Jan. 21.

The state Health Department says a record 6,536 people were hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Thursday, filling more than one of every four beds statewide.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Ohio has risen over the past two weeks from 10,435.57 new cases per day on Dec. 21 to 19,585.86 new cases per day on Jan. 4, according to data collected by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

DeWine has ordered more than 2,000 Guard members into hospitals, some to help provide medical care but others to relieve staff by helping transfer patients, clean, and transport food.

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