Miami Valley healthcare leaders ensure hospitals are keeping up with COVID surge


DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — At least one area hospital already has more COVID patients than beds, and like other hospitals in the state, it’s struggling to keep nurses healthy enough to work. But, most Miami Valley health leaders say they are keeping up with the steady increases in cases and hospitalizations.

“Christmas could be very sad for a lot of families because of the negative outcomes that happen,” saiad Clark County’s Health Commissioner Charles Patterson.

Patterson says if things don’t change, Christmas could be a very sad time for families. The Clark County Combined Health District reported in September that Springfield hospitals had 12 patients with the coronavirus. As of Monday afternoon, that number has increased to 70, but the hospital only has 60 beds.

“Only 20% is from long term cares, so what that tells us it’s beginning to affect the general public outside of our long term cares at a much higher rate right now and this thanksgiving can certainly make that worse,” said Patterson.

Premier Health says they haven’t run out of equipment or beds and have been able to expand services as cases increase. That doesn’t mean they’re not worried about reaching capacity. 

Dr. Roberto Colon, the associate chief medical officer says workers are being exposed in their communities.

“Here at work, everybody is wearing a mask, you know there is a risk in front of you with that patient so everyone is very attentive,” said Colon. “It’s when we leave work, when we’re tired, fatigued , let our guard down, that’s when the risk comes up.”

Kettering Health Network says they’re seeing the highest numbers of cases, hospitalizations and patients on ventilators and it’s taking a toll on their front line workers.

“Across the country, healthcare workers are very strained right now and doing heroic work, it’s just been nine months and that persistence of it for so long is a real challenge,” said Kettering Health Network Patient Safety Officer Jeffery Weinstein.

Doctors say the most effective thing the community can do to help lessen the strain on the hospitals is to limit their bubble of contact to a very tight circle until things are under control.

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