COVID-19 hospitalizations reach new high during pandemic in Ohio

University Hospitals.
Posted at 3:51 PM, Jul 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-29 23:22:32-04

CLEVELAND — Coronavirus-related hospitalizations reached a new high in the state this week.

The state reported that hospitals saw their highest numbers of patients with COVID-19 this week since the pandemic began on March 9.

Data from the Ohio Hospital Association shows that 1,122 COVID-positive patients were being treated in Ohio’s hospitals on Tuesday, of which 348 were in the ICU and 174 were on a ventilator. The previous high was in late April when the state saw 1,103 patients COVID-positive patients.

“Our case numbers have remained high during the past month. We know there is a lag between when people are infected with the virus and when they start to feel sick and ultimately are hospitalized,” said Lance D. Himes, interim director of the Ohio Department of Health. “Ohioans have worked hard to slow the spread of this disease. However, these numbers are a stark reminder that this virus is very much still with us.

“We must remain vigilant and take every precaution to protect ourselves including staying home when possible, frequent handwashing, wearing masks, and social distancing.”

Although hospitals are better prepared to manage COVID-19 patients than at the beginning of the pandemic, the virus is significantly impacting hospital PPE and staffing.

John Palmer, Director of Public Affairs for the Ohio Hospital Association told News 5 COVID-19 is so contagious, it could quickly stress all aspects of the Ohio hospital system.

“The hospitalizations, the ICU beds and the ventilators, the equipment, and the bed capacity are very important, but the caregivers themselves are the ones that deliver that care,” Palmer said.

"It definitely can create surges and definitely take a drastic turn with very little warning.”

“We don’t want to find ourselves in situations that other states are seeing, other countries are seeing, with not being able to have hospital beds.”

“It definitely shows that we need to reexamine our efforts, and look at what we can do to turn that around."

“This infection is real and it’s impacting our communities, and ultimately it’s having an impact on our healthcare system.”

Robyn Strosaker, Chief Operating Officer with University Hospitals, told News 5 bed capacity is currently not an issue, but she urged Northeast Ohio residents to improve their mask-wearing and hygiene habits to help stop the increase in Ohio COVID-19 hospitalizations.

“We have also seen that increase in hospitalizations here at UH," Strosaker said.

“It’s absolutely a real risk, I mean we watch these numbers, the number of hospitalized COVID patients every hour, we have been doing this since March. It is truly real.”

“Yes we have plans to manage 300% of our normal capacity, we would implement them if we ever needed them, but we truly hope that we can keep our numbers down.”

According to the state, COVID-19 patients often have long hospital stays and require extensive care.

“We are grateful for the tireless work by Ohio’s doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers who take care of these patients every day,” Himes said.

For the second day in a row, the state was above the 21-day average with hospitalizations, ICU admissions, deaths, and cases.

RELATED: New COVID-19 cases, deaths, hospitalizations, ICU admissions in Ohio above 21-day average for 2nd day

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