‘Sharp increase’ in local COVID-19 hospitalizations reported after holidays, doctor says

DAYTON — Miami Valley Hospital has seen a “pretty sharp increase” in COVID-19 related hospitalizations after the holidays, however state data shows our area hospitals have not yet reached the same levels seen during the peak in early December.

Dr. Roberto Colon said the Dayton hospital is not running out of room and said this recent rise was not a surprise coming off two major holidays.

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Premier Health has several floors of coronavirus patients at its downtown hospital, but its not the only options they have to care for patients.

“We can continue to flex up and down, depending on our stimulation from one week to another and the number of Covid patients,” Colon said.

Neither Kettering Health Network or Premier Health wanted to provide specific census numbers of COVID-19 patients, however the Ohio Hospital Association does provide that data for the West Central region of the state.

The West Central region, which includes the majority of the Miami Valley, has 417 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, according to OHA. That’s a 2 percent increase over the last week.

ICU patients in our region have jumped 5 percent, with 96 in intensive care.

At its peak on Dec. 3, the West Central region had as many as 522 in the hospital with COVID-19.

Colon said through the holiday surges there has not been a change in the disease becoming more lethal or less letal.

Doctors said its important to keep vigilant about the virus by masking, distancing and handwashing as the vaccines start rolling out.

If any other large surges do occur it could force places like Miami Valley Hospital to seek using other facilities to care for some of its patients.

“You’d likely see more resources at the state level that would have to be leveraged for any of those activities to be initiated,” Colon said.

If hospitals were to need to set up alternative care sites in Dayton it would likely be at the Dayton Convention Center and would also require help from the Ohio National Guard for equipment and Manpower to staff it.