COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The situation in central Ohio hospitals is much different than it was a few months ago during the pandemic’s peak.

During the Omicron surge the majority of patients in the OSU Wexner Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) were COVID-19 patients, according to Dr. Emily Amin, Medical Director of Medical ICUs at OSUWMC.

“It’s been a roller coaster for sure, a lot of up and downs, a lot of unknowns. Where we are today is vastly different than where we were even just a few months ago,” said Dr. Amin.

She says over the past couple weeks, the ICU has averaged two to three COVID-19 patients.

The ICU is intense by nature, but she says the COVID-19 surge had taken it to another level. Now she describes it as a more typical ICU work environment.

“The staff in general and the mood in general is just a little bit lighter which is the first time we’ve really experienced that in the last couple years,” she said.

Other hospitals in the region are having similar experiences.

“Our hospital workers are taking a collective sigh of relief,” said Jeff Klingler, President & CEO of the Central Ohio Hospital Council. “As much as we would like to get back to normal. This is as close to normal where we’ve been as hospitals, our frontline workers, since the beginning of the pandemic.”

The council’s region includes 29 hospitals in 15 counties. Klingler says as of Thursday, there were no COVID-19 patients on ventilators throughout the entire region.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had zero patients not on a ventilator, COVID patients on a ventilator. In the two years, two plus years of the pandemic, we’ve never had, to my recollection, had zero patients on a ventilator. So today’s a good day,” he said.