(WDTN) – The Ohio Department of Health held a virtual press conference on Friday to discuss COVID-19 response across the state. Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, director of ODH, said Ohio continues to break pandemic records.

“Since December 29th, in-patient hospitalizations have set new daily highs,” Dr. Vanderoff said.

This latest surge in COVID-19 cases is putting a strain on hospitals. In the first week of 2022 alone, there were more than 850 hospitalizations across the state. Montgomery County has the third highest number of hospitalizations so far this year with 85 people admitted.

“Given the rise in total numbers of cases we’re seeing, even a smaller percentage of a larger number is still making for a large number of people needed to be in the hospital,” said Dr. Andrew Thomas with The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center.

Because of this, state health leaders said hospitals are coming up with plans to increase capacity and keep beds open. Many are announcing a pause on elective surgeries.

“Even Ohio hospitals that have not yet reached this state are recognizing what is likely to come, and are preparing to take similar, extraordinary steps to meet the demands of this omicron tsunami,” Dr. Vanderhoff said.

Dr. Vanderhoff is hoping more people will now decide to get the vaccine.

“We are making great progress day after day, but there is more room to go. And we would like to see that last third of our population consider affording themselves the same protection the rest of the population has afforded themselves,” Dr. Vanerhoff said.