COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The current surge of COVID-19 cases is now surpassing the numbers seen this past summer, and that has Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center experts turning up the alarm in central Ohio hospitals.
“Our staff are burned out,” said Dr. Andy Thomas with OSU Wexner internal medicine. “They’re tired. People aren’t able to stretch themselves as they were and we’re not able to add beds or services as we need.”
Thomas said the Wexner Medical Center has seen a 50% increase with this surge in the last four weeks, and the omicron variant has yet to take off. Still, only two cases have been identified since Thanksgiving out of 1,000 tests sequenced at OSU, with a third case identified in Ohio by the Cleveland Clinic.
“Delta did take six to eight weeks to become the dominant variant, so these things take a little bit of time,” said Dr. Sara Koenig, director of COVID-19 technologies at the medical center.
Wexner is boasting the success of its monoclonal infusion in immune-compromised patients infected with the virus.
“Any sort of respiratory illnesses, obviously, anybody with cancer, a transplant, or advanced HIV,” said Dr. Christina Liseynesky, with the Wexner’s infectious disease department.
Still, the hospitals are filling up, elective surgeries are being postponed, and the next four weeks could get worse.
“It’s definitely a combination of high number of COVID patients, but also high numbers of sicker patients with non-COVID illnesses that are driving a lot of the concern on our health care system,” Thomas said.
Omicron may have less severe symptoms but will likely spread more quickly. COVID, they said, may never go away, only to become like a common cold.
“The goal of the vaccine is not to get rid of the virus forever,” Liseynesky said. “The goal is so people don’t die from the disease.”