COVID-19 hospitalizations at new record after several days of declines; more guard members arrive

While some regions in the northern part of Ohio continue to see declining hospitalizations, the Miami Valley saw hospitalizations jump to a new record Monday after several days of declines, according to the Ohio Hospital Association.

In the region of the state that includes most of the Miami Valley, there were 652 people hospitalized Monday who have COVID-19. That accounts for one in three people who are hospitalized being positive for the virus.

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The new daily record comes after a downturn in hospitalizations in the Miami Valley over much of last week. Hospitalizations again started rising over the weekend, according to OHA data.

“Things continue in our Dayton area continue to be very critical,” Dr. Roberto Colon with Miami Valley Hospital said last week. “We are still seeing high-rates of hospitalizations.”

The Ohio National Guard announced late last week it was disengaging 400 guard members stationed in northeast Ohio to move them to the Dayton and Cincinnati areas to help relieve hospitals.

Premier Health said 20 members of the guard were deployed to Atrium Medical Center in Middletown. Those numbers are in addition to the members who have already been helping at Miami Valley Hospital and at the OnMain testing sites for the last several weeks.

Mercy Health now has 10 clinical guard members helping in the emergency department at Springfield Regional Medical Center and another 23 members, who are helping across other areas of the hospital, according to a spokeswoman.

News Center 7 is working to find out how many of those guard members may be coming to hospitals in the Miami Valley following last week’s announcement. Miami Valley Hospital has previously had some help with the guard with the initial deployment earlier this month.

“It’s been a tremendous help,” Colon said. When the guard members walked through one of the unit’s at Miami Valley Hospital, “everyone in the unit immediately stopped and started clapping,” he said.

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, the state’s health director, said last week the state was seeing “many signs of improvement” in the areas first hit by a COVID-19 surge driven by the omicron variant.

Colon said much of the Miami Valley’s COVID-19 hospitalizations are people who are unvaccinated, with 83 percent of those in the hospital having not been vaccinated.