Coronavirus: Hospitals reaching capacity due to staffing issues statewide, chief medical officer says

Coronavirus: Hospitals reaching capacity due to staffing issues statewide, chief medical officer says

COLUMBUS — Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio health officials held a press conference this afternoon with leaders of the Ohio Hospital Association to discuss the recent increases in coronavirus cases impacting hospitals in the state.

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The following announcements have been made:

  • Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, Chief Medical Officer for the Ohio Department of Health, says the state is not as concerned about physical capacity at state hospitals for COVID-19 cases, but instead staffing with available trained medical professionals.
  • “If we don’t control the spread, we won’t be able to continue caring for the acutely ill without postponing important, but less urgent, care,” Vanderhoff said. “This kind of shift could happen in a matter of weeks if trends don’t change.”
  • Dr. Robert Wyllie with the Cleveland Clinic said its hospital system had about 300 staff out due to COVID-19 just today. “It’s not because they’re catching it in the hospital, it’s because they’re catching it in the community, so we need everyone to double down. Please wear a mask and social distance to protect Ohio’s caregivers,” Wyllie said.
  • Since the beginning of October, hospitals in the Miami Valley and Southwest Ohio has seen cases growing exponentially. Dr. Richard Lofgren with UC Health said if rates continue as they have in recent weeks, the region will be at 30% of its hospital capacity by Thanksgiving.
  • Lofgren said Ohioans should not expand their social bubbles and should adhere to social distancing and other safety protocols to help bring the virus into manageable control. “If we do again what we did in the early part of fall - adhering to basic principles of social distancing, wearing a mask, washing hands, and not expanding your personal bubble - we can bring the spread of the virus under control,” he said.
  • Lofgren said the Miami Valley and southwest Ohio has over 670 people hospitalized due to COVID-19. The previous peak for hospitalizations in our region was 300 patients in July.
  • Dr. Andy Thomas with OSU Wexner Medical Center says he doesn’t believe a stay-at-home order will solve the COVID-19 surge, but instead people need to be cognizant of their personal lives and more intimate family gathers, which is where experts are seeing outbreaks happening.
  • Health officials called for Ohioans to reconsider plans for the holidays and consider alternative ideas for gathers like Thanksgiving.