Coronavirus: Hospitalizations are increasing in the Miami Valley

Coronavirus: Hospitalizations are increasing in the Miami Valley

MONTGOMERY COUNTY — Hospital officials in the Dayton region say they are equipped for an increase in COVID-19 patients, amid a surge in cases in Montgomery County which Governor DeWine said Monday, has him concerned about Southwest Ohio.

Both Premier Health and Kettering Health Network told News Center 7 Monday, they have seen increases in patients with coronavirus, but have not reached a concerning capacity to date.

“From a regional standpoint We are still sitting what I would consider a very manageable level,” said Sarah Hackenbracht, CEO of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Associaton. Hackenbracht noted, hospitals are also much better equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) than they were earlier this spring.

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“It’s a very different situation than what it was several months ago,” she said, noting the region’s supply of gear like N-95 masks and gowns.

Still, the signs of an increase in the region’s cases are noticeable.

Lines at the University of Dayton Arena testing site stretched across the parking lot Monday. Staff on site told WHIO’s Sean Cudahy it was the busiest day the testing site, open since March, has seen.

Premier Health reports in May, the site averaged 100 patients per day. That number surged to an average of 200 per day last week, and staff on site estimates at least 300 visited Monday. Keep in mind, this site still requires a doctor’s order for a patient to be tested. Premier said many patients visited Monday reported they were there as a result of contact tracing; meaning, a doctor suggested they be tested due to possibly coming into contact with someone infected.

Kettering Health Network, meanwhile, reports it has seen a “significant” increase in COVID-19 patients.

“We have more patients that are hospitalized, and more patients who are on ventilators as well,” said Dr. Jeffrey Weintstein, Chief Quality Officer at Kettering Medical Center. Dr. Weinstein said that increase has played out over the last 15-18 days, while noting the hospital is also still at a manageable state with resources.

Still, he shared his concerns.

“When you look at things like traffic patterns, the traffic is pretty much up to a normal level of traffic. So people aren’t staying home like they were four, to eight, to 12 weeks ago,” Dr. Weinstein said. “Unfortunately when I go out to (stores) I se people not wearing masks.”

That’s something both Gov. DeWine and local health officials urged people to do Monday, citing social distancing and the wearing of masks in public as a key to keeping Ohio’s economy open.

“People aren’t taking the recommendations seriously,” said Dan Suffoletto, Public Information Supervisor at Public Health Dayton-Montgomery County.

“We want to make sure that people are taking the recommendations seriously, that’s wearing a mask, that’s washing your hands frequently, that’s disinfecting as much as possible. That will all reduce the spread.”