COLUMBUS, Ohio  — The Federal Emergency Management Agency will send a medical response team to Summa Health in Akron, officials announced Thursday.

Ohio Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said this will be the second federal team in Ohio. Twenty U.S. Air Force medical professionals are currently undergoing training at the Cleveland Clinic to work clinical roles as the health system continues to face high patient volumes.

“We have word that FEMA has approved a medical response team for Summa Hospital in Akron and at this time, we're still awaiting details concerning the makeup of that team,” Vanderhoff said. 

The Biden administration is deploying medical military personnel to support hospitals in hard-hit states.

Hospitalizations in Ohio have declined for the past 10 days, with the most significant improvements in northeast Ohio where the virus surge peaked first, Vanderhoff said. But hospitalizations remain “extraordinarily high” throughout the state, he said.

The medical response teams deployed by FEMA will make an impact across the region, Vanderhoff said.

“While there are signs of improvement, the demand for healthcare services is still at an all-time high across the state and relief is still essential to meeting Ohioans health care needs,” he said.