DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Miami Valley doctors say they’ve seen the highest number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals since the beginning of the pandemic, but they are equipped to handle the current load despite a rise in cases.
“We’re still able to pretty much handle the volume that’s coming on, what’s concerning is that we haven’t seen that rise stop yet,” Miami Valley Hospital Associate Chief Medical Officer Dr. Roberto Colón said.
Doctors with both Miami Valley Hospital and Kettering Health Network said they have enough hospital beds and ICU capacity to care for the increasing number of COVID-19 patients at this time.
Infectious disease specialist for Kettering Health Network Dr. Jeffery Weinstein said recent studies show a better understanding of the virus and how to treat it, which helps prevent hospitalizations.
“The medical treatments for the patients are improving, so patients are doing better, but at the same time, we’re certainly seeing people in the hospital getting very sick,” Weinstein said.
President and CEO of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association Sarah Hackenbracht said this spike looks different from how they prepared in the spring.
The association is reviewing emergency surge capacity plans which includes, monitor staffing, PPE and hospital capacit.
She said they’ll be keeping a close watch on all those things throughout flu season.
“We actually feel that we are in a good place because our hospital capacity is something that we have been able to protect and then work collaboratively together to make sure that the plan that we built was something that our individual hospital organizations and systems could support one another,” Hackenbracht said.
Hackenbracht said that the PPE supply has balanced and the hospitals do have access to adequate PPE at this time.
Just because hospitals are more prepared, doesn’t mean people can be less cautious. Colón said not following the guidelines can lead to a surge that overwhelms our hospitals.
“Everybody really collectively needs to step up, otherwise things are going to get worse,” Colón said.
Both doctors said at this stage, Montgomery County, which has remained as a red Level 3 Ohio public health advisory, is not at risk of reaching a purple Level 4 , but they fear it could happen if the number of cases continue to climb.
2 NEWS also received a statement from Montgomery County Public Health Public Information Supervisor Dan Suffoletto which read:
“We are continuing our visits to area business to educate people about the need to wear masks and keep socially distant. We continue to meet with leaders at local schools to provide them with guidance and information about how they can protect their students and staff. We are reaching out to vulnerable populations to educate them about the risks of COVID and how to protect themselves.”
Suffoletto also said Public Health is providing free face masks to those in need at various locations and also providing flu shots to vulnerable populations in an effort to reduce flu hospitalizations.