Doctors keep eye on hospital capacity as COVID-19 cases rise


COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Ohio’s total case count for COVID-19 is just shy of 178,000, with the Ohio Department of Health reporting 16 more coronavirus-related deaths reported Friday.

Ohio’s total death count from the virus is 5,054.

With the increase in cases comes an increase in hospitalizations, something medical officials are keeping a close eye on, and they’re not alone.

Canal Winchester resident Jennifer DeVoe watches the state’s case count change, worried about what it means for the hospitals.

“They’re concerning because they’re going up,” she said. “They only have so many rooms and so many beds and so many doctors and so many nurses and they can only be spread so thin.”

This is a concern echoed by doctors.

“We are having more hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in central Ohio hospitals,” said Dr. Joseph Gastaldo with OhioHealth.

According to the state, there are 199 COVID-19 patients in the region’s hospitals, up from 146 less than two weeks ago.

“There’s always a concern,” Gastaldo said. “Worst-case scenario is that COVID-19 cases go through the roof and worst-case scenario, it’s just that that we would have to go back to what it was like in the spring.”

A spring when some procedures were delayed and a surge hospital was set up at the Columbus Convention Center as a precaution.

:”I don’t think we are going to need to do it, but the fact that we actually went through the dry run of setting it up in the spring makes me a lot more confident that we can pretty quickly pull that off if we needed to,” said Dr. Andrew Thomas of the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Doctors hope they don’t need to do that, a hope shared by DeVoe.

“We need to make sure that we’re keeping each other safe,” she said.

Doctors also emphasized the mitigation efforts as they monitor hospital capacity in the state.

According to ODH, the central Ohio region has 915 inpatient beds and 211 ICU beds available.

While doctors said that the hospitals are in good shape, in terms of capacity, they have noticed an increase in the number of COVID-19 patients they are treating.

“When you look at the trends in the state of Ohio and in our region, the trends for hospitalizations are also increasing too, so obviously I’m very concerned about the pain and suffering that Ohio will have,” Gastaldo said.

Coronavirus in Ohio resources:

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