Hospitals prepare as hospitalizations rise in the Miami Valley

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – As hospitalizations climb across the state, hospitals in the Miami Valley say they haven’t been overwhelmed yet, but they’re already planning ahead in case of a major spike.

Governor DeWine announced Tuesday the number of hospitalizations and patients in the ICU continue to climb, with more than 1,400 patients currently being treated for COVID-19.

“There’s a lot more COVID-19 in the Dayton region than there has been anytime of this pandemic,” Kettering Health Network Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Jeffrey Weinstein said.

Doctors from Kettering Health Network and Miami Valley Hospital said COVID-19 hospitalizations in the region are on the rise.

“We don’t know when the peak will be, but the problem is that we started this increase, this surge, at a relatively high level compared to where we were the last two times,” Weinstein said.

Both hospital systems have enough beds and ICU space in the mean time, but they fear reaching capacity of the growing trends don’t stop.

“Every health care system is dusting off the preparations that we made earlier in the spring and figuring out when do we have to move into the next phases of our response,” Miami Valley Hospital Assoc. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Roberto Colon said.

Early in the pandemic, the Dayton Convention Center was designated by the state as an overflow hospital site, but it has yet to be used.

“At what point do we start creating areas that were not designed for traditional care of patients and we end up setting that up?” Colon said.

Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association CEO and President Sarah Hackenbracht said the organization’s plan is to avoid using the convention center if possible. Instead, their focus is on a regional partnership between to maximize available beds between facilities.

“So that we can consolidate resources, medical equipment and staffing in those areas and we’re not trying to staff and build out a whole separate facility,” Hackenbracht said.

Despite the rise in cases, medical experts are still encouraging everyone to seek medical attention at their doctor’s office or hospital when needed.

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