Hospitals prepare for surge in coronavirus cases in Ohio

Posted at 9:40 PM, Mar 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-26 23:21:18-04

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Social distancing and staying home remain critical in Ohio as officials with the Department of Health warn a surge in coronavirus cases is coming.

Dr. Amy Acton, Director of the Ohio Department of Health, estimates the surge will bring 6,000-8,000 new infections daily in a matter of weeks.

“There is no, no surge option we were already too far along down that curve of the spread of this very infectious much more deadly disease,” Acton said.

Acton says by staying home and social distancing the impact on the state’s healthcare system has decreased by 50-75%. Still, Acton says 40-70% of Ohioans will be infected by the virus at some point this year. She says about 11% of CVOVID-19 patients require intensive care treatment.

The surge is forcing to hospitals to get ready.

University Hospital's Chief Quality and Medical Officer, Dr. William Brien, says his team has been preparing for a 300% increase in patient care and volume.

“That’s one of the reasons we stopped as nonessential surgeries,” Brien said. “We are planned for all escalations that’s important thing. We will be able to whatever we need to do because the plans were already in place.”

As hospitals prepare for more people to crowd ICU’s and emergency rooms, Brien says keeping staff safe is a top priority.

“We need to make sure that our employees are safe, that they are prepared and that we maintain our workforce.”

Brien says they’re keeping track of inventory and preserving personal protective gear. Several overflow tents have also been set up on campuses as a precaution.

“I can’t tell you what we will use them for until we actually know what we need them for,” he said.

In a statement, a spokesperson with Cleveland Clinic tells News 5 its staff is preparing as well.

It reads, “We have been planning for months and continue to monitor all supplies and medical equipment closely. We are adapting to this unprecedented and rapidly evolving situation as quickly as possible while continuing to stay true to our mission of caring for our community.”

As officials continue to urge residents to stay at home, hospitals are gearing up to fight and save lives. Brien believes hospitals across our region are prepared.

“I think we are as well situated as we can be. We again know what our resources are. We are hoping that we have adequate resources. We are stocking up on those resources where we can now and I have every confidence that the governor will continue to help get us whatever resources we need to take care of Ohioans.”