ODH leaders express concerns over growing COVID cases, hospitalizations


DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — In a Thursday morning press conference Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, director of the Ohio Department of Health, continued to urge Ohioans to take the delta variant more seriously as cases continue to surge in throughout the state.

“Yesterday we reported 6,823 cases from the previous 24 hours. Taking our 21 day reported case average up closer to 5,000,” Vanderhoff said.

Vanderhoff said in July. Ohioans were seeing daily case rates of 200 to 300 people. Now, case rates are at 6,000 to 7,000 people per day, which is 20 times what we saw in July. Weekly, 13.3 percent of Ohioans are testing positive for the virus right now.

With these numbers growing, Dr. Joseph Gastaldo, medical director of infectious diseases at OhioHealth, said medical workers in hospitals are suffering. “We are at very high capacity, especially when it comes to taking care of patients. Importantly, more importantly, not having enough staff to take care of patients.”

Gastaldo said that along with a spike in COVID-related hospitalizations, they’re also seeing more non-COVID patients. “Those people who had their health care delayed from our previous winter surge. Great example of that, a patient I saw recently who came in who delayed a hip replacement because of the COVID surge we had.”

Vanderhoff also continuing to stress that there are ways we can beat this virus. “The safest way to get immunity, the most reliable way to gain immunity, is vaccination.”

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