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‘We are in crisis’: Hospitals across Ohio running out of beds as COVID-19 positivity rate increases Staff




Photo by Sara Eshleman

In the past 24 hours, Ohio reported 8,921 new coronavirus cases, the fifth-highest case count reported in one day since the start of the pandemic.

Nearly 400 more hospitalizations were reported, and an additional 82 people have died from COVID-19 in Ohio.

COVID-19 hospitalizations remain high with 5,142 patients currently hospitalized. Of those, 1,204 patients are in intensive care.

According to this week’s ODH travel advisory, this is the first week since April where Ohio’s positivity for COVID-19 has increased above 15 percent.

The travel advisory encourages all Ohioans to help to limit the spread and impact of this virus by staying home except for necessary trips for supplies. The advisory also urges Ohioans to consistently wear masks when around others and frequently wash their hands.

Dr. Andy Thomas, chief clinical officer at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, warned that Ohio is not yet seeing the impact of gatherings that took place over Thanksgiving because hospitalizations are a lagging indicator.

Symptoms generally develop within 10 days of transmission, and hospitalizations typically occur a week after diagnosis.

“This is not the beginning of the end or even the end of the beginning,” said Dr. Thomas. “Hospitals are in a very difficult spot here, and we’re just now heading into the most challenging three months of the pandemic. ICU beds are an area of capacity where we have the biggest strain across the state, especially in rural areas.”

“We are in crisis. Hospitals across Ohio are running out of beds, healthcare workers are burned out and stretched thin, and our hospitals are stressed to the extreme,” said Dr. Nora Colburn, associate medical director for clinical epidemiology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “Hospitals around the state are delaying non-emergency procedures which will impact routine healthcare. The bottom line is that non-COVID patients are being crowded out of the system and won’t be able to get the care they need to stay healthy. We all must do our part to stop the spread of the virus.”

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