COVID-19 hospitalizations on the rise, putting strain on central Ohio hospitals


COLUMBUS (WCMH) — As the latest COVID-19 surge continues, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is reporting its highest case numbers since January.

On Tuesday, 5,914 new cases were reported in Ohio, with 318 new COVID-19 hospitalizations across the state. 

“I know people have COVID fatigue, I have COVID fatigue, but the virus does not have fatigue with infecting us,” said Dr. Joseph Gastaldo, an infectious disease expert with OhioHealth. 

ODH numbers show there are currently 2,468 COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide, which is more than 800 above the number from about two weeks ago. State data shows about 98% of COVID-19 hospitalizations this year are unvaccinated people.

“The hospitals here in central Ohio, we are stressed. It is very serious here,” Gastaldo said. “We have a lot of COVID patients in the hospital. We are trying to take care of those patients and still provide care for heart attack patients, stroke patients, trauma patients, and when we have to restrict staff members from those vital services, it does affect our community.”

OhioHealth is again using some of the strategies it used during the winter surge, according to Gastaldo. He said all options are on the shelf if they need them, but he hopes it does not get to that point.

“Our current surge is very similar to the winter surge,” he said. “We are really trying to juggle and stay balanced, really providing a lot of critical care with strained staffing resources.”

Gastaldo also points out some states have already hit their peaks from the delta variant, but Ohio’s cases are still increasing. He’s urging those who have not been vaccinated to do so and said people should follow CDC and local masking recommendations.

“I do think we are going to see more COVID-19 in the state of Ohio,” Gastaldo said. “The delta variant is one part of it, but also, more importantly, it’s human behavior.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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