Hannah K. Sparling
| Cincinnati Inquirer
COLUMBUS – Hospital executives have once again asked Ohio people to wear a mask and restrict gatherings with others as the state set another record for newly reported COVID-19 cases and currently hospitalized patients.
Ohio reported 11,885 new COVID-19 cases on Monday. But it could be “artificially high,” warned Governor Mike DeWine of the two-day delay at Mercy Health and Cleveland Clinic’s major test providers.
Monday’s case numbers were again marked as “incomplete” for the sixth consecutive day due to the backlog of “thousands” cases associated with the positive antigen test, which must be reviewed before they can be counted. The previous one-day record was 8,808 on Friday, which was also “incomplete.”
“The big, big picture is that the large volume of these cases is now flooding the system,” DeWine said.
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Ohio again broke the record for COVID-19 patients in need of hospital care: according to the Ohio Hospital Association, there were 4,358 hospital beds in 1,079 intensive care units. These numbers are about three times higher than just a month ago.
“We can’t sound the alarm bell out loud enough for the people of Ohio to change their behavior,” said Dr. Andy Thomas at the OSU Wexner Medical Center, one of four hospital executives who joined DeWine for a previously unplanned job. Monday information.
Thomas noted that hospitalizations are likely to continue to increase until cases peak and level off.
About 3 out of 10 hospital beds are available nationwide. But hospital executives say the capacity of the bed is not the problem. They are worried that they will run out of staff to care for patients because many get sick or need to be quarantined after being exposed to a patient.
Staffing issues throughout Ohio
Dr. Richard Lofgren, president and CEO of UC Health, said 1121 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized in the Dayton and Cincinnati regions.
This includes 253 patients in the intensive care unit and 171 patients in a ventilator.
There are 641 patients in the hospital in the Cincinnati region alone, Lofgren said. This is compared to 90 people who were transported to hospital near the end of September.
“This virus is already ubiquitous,” Lofgren said. – We can expect more than 800 patients to be hospitalized next week. It’s not about planning the wave; here is the wave. “
Lofgren said that if trends continue, hospitals will need to collide with non-COVID patients to care for those suffering from the virus. According to Lofgren, the region is reactivating the crisis level of the supply committee to determine how to balance resources if the situation worsens.
About 970 Ohio caregivers were discharged at the Cleveland Clinic on Monday due to illness or quarantine, said the clinic’s chief medical officer, Dr. Robert Wyllie. According to the state dashboard, more than 2,500 health care workers have tested positive or been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 10 days.
Hospital executives said they were already redeploying staff from outpatient care centers and other locations to the COVID-19 and ICU floors. Some non-COVID patients were admitted to nearby hospitals. Several hospitals have postponed non-essential surgeries to free staff.
Unlike in the spring, hospitals have enough personal protective equipment, bed capacity and better treatments available.
“The real difference now is that people are available to care for patients,” Lofgren said. “It pulls people out of their usual jobs into these new, makeshift jobs, which puts stress on the environment.”
“It comes with personal responsibility”
Asked if Ohio needs more stringent measures than it has implemented, DeWine said mask compliance exists across the state and it’s too early to say whether a nationwide curfew has been in place for the past week.
DeWine stressed, as he has done many times before, that he expects some Ohio people to take the necessary steps to protect themselves, their friends and family.
The key is “what individuals do in their own lives,” DeWine said. “It’s a personal responsibility.”
Cases and trends
The number of Monday cases exceeded the moving seven-day average of 7,618 new cases per day.
Ohio’s COVID-19 deaths exceeded 6,000 on Monday, for a total of 6,020, with 24 new deaths reported since Sunday’s report.
Cases and deaths can be reported days or weeks after someone becomes ill or dies. However, according to the Ohio Department of Health, the majority of new cases reported Monday – 96% – had the onset of the disease in the past two weeks.
The test positivity rate reached a seven-day average of 13.5% on Saturday, the most recent day when this information was available. This number was last so high at the end of April, when only about 5,000 tests were given per day.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, 12.8% of the 58,876 tests administered on Saturday were positive.
The Ohio Hospital Association has unveiled a new dashboard detailing the number of COVID-19 patients in the state’s eight hospital regions at ohiohospitals.org. On Monday, 641 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized in eight southwestern Ohio counties, about 1 in all hospital patients.