COLUMBUS, Ohio — The measures Ohio has taken to reduce the spread of coronavirus and “flatten the curve” of new cases each day have already had a significant impact on mitigating the disease, said Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton Thursday, but the state should still expect a surge of 6,000 to 8,000 new cases a day at the peak of the outbreak.
Acton showed new models showing where Ohio is today, and where it may have been had the governor not taken decisive action to stop mass gatherings, close non-essential businesses, and order residents to stay at home.
Had nothing been done, the model from OSU’s Infectious Disease Institute showed new cases of COVID-19 would have peaked around this time, at nearly 40,000 cases per day.
“We have, through our collective work together in Ohio, decreased that impact on our healthcare system by anywhere from 50 to 75%, that’s crucial,” Acton said. “But we’ve got to do it even more, because we’re buying time. As the governor said, the further we spread out that spread of infection, the more time our hospitals are getting ready and doubling their capacity.”
With the mitigation measures the state has taken, Acton said we’re not yet at our peak surge of cases.
“At our peak surge, we may be as high as 6,000 to 8,000 new cases, a day,” Acton said. “So we’re trying to keep that number one, bending that off as long as possible our hospitals are gearing up more capacity. We’re also lowering that curve and less people are getting infected.”
Acton said that while they do expect to exceed the capacity for hospitals in Ohio, “we’ve really been minimizing that amount so, Ohio, what you’re doing is absolutely saving lives.”