DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Thursday, Dr. Amy Acton extended Ohio’s stay at home order until May 1 because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Ohio is predicted to reach its peak in the next few weeks.
We talked with Dr. Roberto Colon with Miami Valley Hospital about how hospitals are preparing.
“There have been some staffing changes. There have been some nurses that unfortunately have not been able to continue the work. We’ve been able to reassign others to a different area,” he says. “What we’re expecting is in the next coming weeks is that we’re going to have to recruit all those same nurses to be able to come back into the care environment perhaps in different areas than they were working before, right now it’s looking at that labor pool.”
He says this pandemic differs from flu season in that people are becoming infected much more quickly with coronavirus and the average hospital stay is longer than those who are hospitalized with the flu.
“Being able to enforce that social distancing is allowing us to slow down the spread to be able to perhaps see the same number of people, but over a longer period of time to not necessarily overwhelm the system,” said Dr. Colon.
Initially, health professionals said that wearing masks in public would not stop the average person from catching the virus, but that message has since changed.
“The difference between now and then is the disease’s prevalence in our community. When this disease was very uncommon in our community, it was very unlikely that a mask was going to be reducing the chance of getting it. Right now as we’re seeing it in the United States, more often appearing around and more people that are likely to be asymptomatic eventually shedding it, the masks aren’t just a way of protecting ourselves from picking up the disease, but it may really be more about reducing the chance that we’re going to give this disease to somebody else,” he said.