New modeling system shows Ohio COVID-19 pandemic could see 10,000 cases a day at peak

COVID-19 new model Cleveland Clinic, the Ohio State University
Posted at 3:50 PM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 23:08:56-04

CLEVELAND — A new modeling system from the Cleveland Clinic and the Ohio State University shows that the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic in Ohio may see around 10,000 new cases each day at its peak—and that peak may not reach Ohio until mid-May, according to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.

The new modeling conducted by The Ohio State University and the Cleveland Clinic predicts that within the next two weeks, COVID-19 will begin to ramp up under mitigation—the stay at home order, social distancing order, etc.—and Ohio will begin to see around 10,000 new cases a day during that peak.

Left unmitigated, the peak would have seen around 51,000 new cases of COVID-19 a day, according to the model, created by data from epidemiology researchers at the Ohio State University.

Evidence that DeWine and his team have received shows that cases will double every six days.

DeWine said that in order to prepare for the surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitals are going to need around two or three times the bed capacity they currently have.

In order to meet this capacity demand, DeWine has issued action to be taken now.

The governor divided the state of Ohio into eight different regions and has requested each region to put together a collective plan for how to expand hospital bed capacity and have it on his desk by 8 a.m. Saturday morning.

From those eight plans, DeWine and his team will issue the final draft of the hospital capacity plan by 12 p.m. Monday afternoon. The National Guard has been asked to oversee the compilation of the plan.

“I don’t want anyone to be alarmed. But I also want everyone to understand what we face,” Dewine said. “There is a real sense of urgency to what I'm doing and what my team is doing every day. It is going to take doubling or tripling our hospital capacity. We have a lot of work to do and we need you to stay far apart.”

Friday morning, Cuyahoga County's Board of Health released numbers showing, so far, the county's hospitals have kept up with the increase in patients brought on by the pandemic.

About one-third of adult capacity at hospitals, including critical care beds, remain available. More than 40% of pediatric care capacity is unfilled according to the health department.

Cuyahoga County's medical director said only 36% of ventilators, sometimes needed to care for the sickest coronavirus patients, are currently in-use.

"I'm optimistic, cautiously optimistic with a does of realism, that we can stay below that surge capacity," Dr. Heidi Gullett said.

However, Gullett warned this is not the time for people to become complacent.

She said the health department is still monitoring dozens of clusters of infection in Cuyahoga County and trying to get people who may have been exposed to the virus to isolate themselves.

"If people don't stay home, we will quickly approach... 100% utilization with regard to beds and ventilators because the infection will overwhelm too many people in our community," Gullett said.

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