Health officials across the state again stress the burden the virus is taking on hospitals as more healthcare workers are being taken away from the bedside because of community spread.
“We can’t sound the alarm bell loud enough for people in Ohio to change their behavior,” Dr. Andrew Thomas of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center said.
Hospitalization cases are continuing to increase with the Ohio Department of Health reports 4,358 COVID-19 patients on Nov. 23.
“That is a 59% increase from just two weeks ago,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said during a Nov. 23 press conference with hospital leaders. “We also currently have 1,079 patients who are in the ICU, which is again far higher than we have seen so far during this pandemic.”
The state also reported 11,885 new COVID-19 cases, the highest number reported in a single day since the start of the pandemic. DeWine noted the high jump in cases is caused in part by technical problems with two labs being unable to report cases for two day. In addition to the delay, there are 15,000 antigen tests still pending.
At Cleveland Clinic, 970 caregivers are out because they are either in quarantine or they have active COVID-19 infections, Dr. Robert Wyllie of Cleveland Clinic said.
“They are not catching it in the hospital, they are getting it in the community,” said Wyllie, who is leading Zone 1 of the state’s hospitalization plan that includes northern Ohio.
Because of this, the hospital has moved caregivers who would be staffing elective surgeries and instead sent them to inpatient care.
Dr. Richard Lofgren of UC Health, leader of Zone 3 which includes southwest Ohio, said his zone is approaching the point where the influx of COVID-19 patients will displace non-COVID-19 care.
In the coming weeks, hospitals are going to have to determine how to staff its beds, what elective procedures will be postponed and potentially postponing ambulatory and outpatient office visits.
“We’ve seen the surge – it is here,” Lofgren said. “We’re responding to it but I can tell you as the surge increases, we’re going to make more and more decisions about how we triage and how we take care of patients appropriately.”
Rhonda Lehman, president of Mercy Health in Lima, said the hospital is filling up faster than they can discharge patients. She noted that a third of inpatients are there for COVID-19.
Ohio has had 363,304 total cases of COVID-19 and 6,020 total deaths, the Ohio Department of Health reported Nov. 23. The data is incomplete as thousands of reports are pending review.
The individuals who have tested positive range in age of less than a year to 109 years old; the median age is 42.
The total number of individuals who have been tested in Ohio is 5,718,750. The new daily percent positive cases 12.8%, with a seven-day moving average of positive cases of 13.5%, according to data from Nov. 21.
The ODH reported 12 new deaths Nov. 22, though the data is incomplete. The median age of those who have died is 80.
The ODH reports 24,705 cumulative hospitalizations, and 4,454 individuals have been admitted to the ICU due to the coronavirus, though the data is incomplete. The median age of those hospitalized is 66.
The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations reported in the last 24 hours is 282, though the data is incomplete. There are currently 4,358 patients hospitalized with the coronavirus.
The ODH reports 230,678 individuals are presumed recovered – defined as cases with a symptom onset over 21 days prior who are not deceased.
Cuyahoga County accounts for 35,214 of the cases, 3,188 hospitalizations and 736 deaths, though the data is incomplete.
If you have questions regarding COVID-19, call 833-4ASKODH (833-427-5634) or visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.