COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – More COVID-19 patients are being hospitalized by the day, with more than 6,100 people in the hospital due to the virus across Ohio.
That number represents a new record, a record that has been set each day for the past week, and central Ohio hospitals are not being spared by this current spike.
OhioHealth has more hospitalized COVID-19 patients currently than at any other time during the pandemic.
“I hope and pray people really understand the crisis we are in in the hospitals in central Ohio,” said OhioHealth Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Joseph Gastaldo. “This is not the standard that we deliver healthcare compared to, especially, what it was before this pandemic.”
A spokesperson said Mount Carmel is also at a record high for hospitalizations, and that the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center is getting close.
“Right now at Ohio State, we’re within about 10 patients of our highest active COVID census we’ve had at any time during the pandemic,” said Dr. Andrew Thomas, chief clinical officer for the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Thomas also oversees one of the state’s COVID-19 response zones.
According to the Wexner Medical Center, there are 677 COVID-19 patients across central Ohio’s three adult hospital systems. A hospital spokesperson says it’s a 32.5 percent increase in the last week.
“We’re at an all-time high two years into this pandemic,” said Dr. Jeff Klinger, president and CEO of the Central Ohio Hospital Council. “We’re still seeing these record numbers and it just doesn’t have to be that way. So, I think our hospital workers, they’re frustrated.”
Klingler said this is not just a COVID-19 issue, but a community issue because of how busy hospitals are. According to the council, as of Monday morning, there were 150 patients, both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19, in Franklin County emergency departments waiting to be admitted to nine hospital beds.
“This is impacting the ability of hospitals to care for all patients in the community,” Klinger said.
The numbers also show a busy situation when you look at greater central Ohio. That area makes up what the state has deemed “Central Region 4.” In Region 4 Monday morning, there were 183 patients in emergency departments waiting for 36 open hospital beds.
“If we go up another 25, 30 percent on our COVID patients here in central Ohio, which is kind of where you would track if you look at where northeast Ohio is, it’s going to be a really difficult month of January,” Thomas said.
Doctors and the Central Ohio Hospital Council said they do expect hospitalizations to continue rising over the next few weeks.