COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — As Ohio leaders keep an eye out for the Omicron variant in the state, there are concerns when it comes to the number of hospitalizations. 

Some hospitals are already pivoting because of the spike in numbers. 

That’s the case up in the Northeastern part of the state. The major hospital systems there say they’re taking measures to free up as many beds as possible. 

It’s something that local doctors worry about here in the coming months. 

The number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital is climbing yet again. 

“Well, today I’m very concerned about the rise in hospitalizations across the state. It seems to be increasing all week long. It hasn’t necessarily affected our hospital today, but I’m very concerned what it’s doing across the state,” said Dr. Mark Herbert. He’s an infectious disease doctor with Mt. Carmel Medical Group.  

Statewide – there’s been a 59 percent increase over the last three weeks in the number of patients hospitalized for coronavirus.  

That’s according the Ohio Hospital Association’s COVID-19 dashboard.  

The major hospitals in the Cleveland area have pivoted — announcing Friday they’re taking measures to keep beds open — rescheduling or postponing non-urgent surgeries at this time

Dr. Herbert says he feels that central Ohio is prepared for this. 

“We meet multiple times a week to prepare for what happens next. It seems like something will happen soon that all of our preparations will pay off, but we are concerned about having an increased patient population in the hospital.” 

According to the Ohio Hospital Association, cases have reached a new high since January with more than 3,900 patients hospitalized for coronavirus. 

Leaders continue to urge people to get vaccinated. 

“What breaks your heart is that these deaths are preventable at this point. We have the vaccine, the vaccine is how we keep people out of the hospital,” said Governor Mike DeWine to reporters Thursday.  

Dr. Herbert says what he wants to know next is how will omicron impact treatments. 

“If oral drugs coming out is going to have some benefit for the community as a whole or if Omicron becomes a big problem if that’s going to affect the types of monoclonal antibody treatments or other treatments we use — we are prepared for whatever comes next.” 

The hospitals in our region have not announced the need to pause surgeries like hospitals have had to do in Cleveland at this time.