‘All hands on deck,’ to keep COVID-19 hospitalizations from their max

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COLUMBUS (WCMH)–Data from the Ohio Hospital Association (OHA) shows as of Tuesday, 1,122 COVID-19 patients were being taken care of in hospitals across Ohio. That set a new record high. The previous record high was in late April when Ohio Department of Health (ODH) shows there were 1,103 COVID-19 patients in hospitals in Ohio. Of the latest hospitalizations, 348 patients were in the ICU and 174 were on ventilators.

“Hospitalizations going up is not a good milestone,” said John Palmer, Director of Public Affairs for the OHA.

The OHA is tracking the hospitalization numbers, then sharing them with the ODH which then reports them.

“We don’t want a trend that keeps going up. We need that to go back down,” said Palmer.

According to the OHA, hospital capacity across the state is about 74% including COVID-19 patients, elective operations patients and emergency patients. Palmer calls 74% a normal place to be and hospitals in Ohio are not overwhelmed right now and the key is making sure they don’t become that way.

“We don’t want to find ourselves in situations where other states have had their ICU beds maxed out, their healthcare system overwhelmed,” said Palmer.

The ODH announced the record high in a press release Wednesday afternoon.

“Our case numbers have remained high during the past month. We know there is a lag between when people are infected with the virus and when they start to feel sick and ultimately are hospitalized,” said Lance D. Himes the ODH interim director. “Ohioans have worked hard to slow the spread of this disease. However, these numbers are a stark reminder that this virus is very much still with us.”

That message was echoed by Dr. Joseph Gastaldo, System Medical Director of Infectious Disease for Ohio Health.

“COVID-19 has not gone anywhere. This coronavirus is still here. We are still living with it. You could still get it,” he said in an interview with NBC4. “The increased hospitalizations should make sense to people because we have more people who have COVID19. What i want people to hear and hopefully appreciate is that we need all hands on deck.”

By ‘all hands on deck’ he’s referring to people wearing masks, social distancing and practicing good hygiene. Governor Mike DeWine is expected to give an update on COVID-19 at 2 PM Thursday.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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