Central Ohio hospitals prepare for possible surge in COVID-19 cases

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — As of Wednesday, OhioHealth officials said they had space to treat all of their current COVID-19 patients at all 12 of their hospitals. 

“We have freed up at least 35 percent capacity at every care site, some more and some less than others,” said Stacey Armstrong, the Chief Operating Officer at Riverside Methodist Hospital. 

Nonetheless, Armstrong recognizes that a surge is possible, which is why she and her team have compiled a list of about 35 outside locations where patients could be treated. 

“Everything that’s empty is on our radar,” she said. 

Otterbein University is one location where patients may be treated. 

University President John Comerford said he and his team have been in touch with several hospitals about the facilities the university has to offer. 

“We have our residence halls and we have a couple of residence halls that have private bathrooms, one is even a former nursing home,” he said. “In terms of surge space, those could be very helpful to hospital systems.” 

Comerford also said the university has been in touch with officials from the cities of Westerville and Columbus. 

“We’ve also talked to the cities about if they have a positive test in their fire department and they need a temporary firehouse, there are other buildings we can use for those sorts of purposes,” he explained. 

So far, no remote sites have been selected to treat patients in Central Ohio. 

Similar to OhioHealth, a team from the Wexner Medical Center is working to identify alternate care sites, but a spokesperson said there is nothing specific to share at this time. 

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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