CLEVELAND — The Ohio Department of Health reported 708 new hospitalizations in the past 24 hours on Tuesday, a single-day record since the pandemic began.
Additionally, 20,411 new positive cases were reported, bringing Ohio's cumulative total to nearly 2.1 million positive COVID-19 cases.
The 708 new hospitalizations make up part of the record-setting 6,257 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Ohio.
A spokesperson with the Ohio Department of Health confirmed both new records.
"Prior to this recent surge in hospitalizations, the previous record set of 5,308 hospitalizations on Dec. 15, 2020," a spokesperson said. "Since Dec. 29, that record has been broken daily."
Just a couple of weeks ago, several government and medical leaders told News 5 they were hopeful that while the omicron variant was spreading more quickly, it wouldn’t pack quite the punch when it came to hospitalizations and death.
A spokesperson with ODH explained the single-day total featured on their "Current Trends" dashboard is calculated based on the reported date of the hospitalization and went on to explain how the current total of hospitalizations is determined.
"It’s worth pointing out that a person could be associated with multiple days in this [currently hospitalized] figure if that individual had a multi-day stay in the hospital since it’s based on the current count of those hospitalized, whereas the 708 newly reported hospitalizations is case-based, so each person would only be counted once as a hospitalized COVID-19 case," she said.
For pediatric infectious specialist Dr. Claudia Hoyen at University Hospitals, the burden on hospital staff has not let up.
"People that work in health care are very tired," she said. "People are exhausted and people are starting to leave healthcare.
“The situation is very serious,” John Palmer with the Ohio Hospital Association said. “Anything you can do from your vaccinations to boosters to wearing masks, social distancing, following the guidelines of isolation, quarantine really makes the difference and will have a huge impact and us being able to turn this tide on the COVID-19 pandemic surge that we're experiencing.”
The Ohio Hospital Association represents about 245 hospitals and keeps track of COVID-19 patient statistics across the state.
"The people who are typically ending up in the hospital here on the adult and the pediatric side tend to be the people who are unvaccinated," Hoyen said.