GREENVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) — Wayne Healthcare, a medical service provider in Darke County shared with patients via social media that they are experiencing higher patient loads than normal in conjunction with a limited staffing reserve.

They are not the only healthcare provider in the area or even the country facing these issues as the Delta variant of COVID-19 lands more people in hospital beds.

Terri Flood, Vice President of Business Developmen says Wayne HealthCare is a licensed 92 bed not-for-profit acute care hospital. The emergency department has 15 beds.

The recent influx of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations is impacting patients with trauma, cardiac and other conditions; and transfer options are limited as many other area hospitals are facing the same issues.

Flood said that Wayne shared this message via Facebook in order to get their message to a wider audience. The post asks that people consider visiting their primary care provider, Wayne Healthcare Walk-in Care, Union City Medical Office or virtual care services to determine what kind of medical assistance is needed.

Darke County’s health commissioner, Terrence Holman also reports a steady increase in COVID-19 cases.

“The numbers are up,” he said. “We were down to less than 1 [case] a day in June and July then it escalated. Over the last two weeks we’re in the 40’s on an average per day.

CDC data shows that Darke county has one of the lowest overall number of total cases in the state.

“I think its one of the largest counties in Ohio [but] we don’t have a large population,” said Holman. “…our population is relatively spread out so that tend to keeps our numbers low.”

However, the county’s vaccination rates are low with only 35 percent of county residents with at least one dose. Darke County health officials are hoping to increase that number by introducing their own vaccine incentive program. Starting September 29, the first 300 people to get the first dose of the vaccine is eligible for a $100 incentive.

“If you want to control a disease, whether it’s COVIDor any other disease the vaccination becomes the number one tool that you can use across the board and COVID is no exception,” said Holman.”

For more information on the upcoming vaccine incentive program, click here.