COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–One in four hospital patients in Ohio are COVID-19 positive. As health care officials urge Ohioans to get vaccines, hospitals across the state are putting a pause on vaccine requirements.
There are several factors that hospitals are pointing to like legal reasons and staffing shortages. Hospitals also suggest this is just a pause and could change in the new year.
According to the Ohio Hospital Association (OHA), over the last 60 days, there has been a 50 percent increase in hospitalizations.
“We’re pretty much running full steam 24 hours a day, particularly with ICU as high as it’s been, it really takes a toll on our caregivers,” said OHA Director of Media and Public Relations John Palmer.
Many of the people filling Ohio’s hospital beds are unvaccinated. Hospitals themselves are putting a pause on COVID-19 vaccine requirements for staff.
The Cleveland Clinic said in a statement:
We continue to strongly encourage all employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and we are proud that the majority of our employees are already vaccinated.Cleveland Clinic
Hospitals are highlighting several factors for their decision to pause requirements. The federal mandate is currently being held up in court, legislation banning mandates could be coming from the Ohio Statehouse, and hospitals are just too full to lose staff right now.
“Considering the surge that we’re currently in, the deadlines that were coming up and the hesitancy that was occurring, the burnout that was occurring there were a number of factors of making sure that caregivers were on the job to deliver that care,” said Palmer.
OhioHealth said they still believe “requiring the vaccine is the right thing to do.” They also make it clear that this is just a pause.