Miami Valley hospitals prepare for likely surge in COVID-19 cases

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Local hospital officials say they’re in the process of bringing in more equipment like ventilators and protective gear as they continue preparing for a likely surge in COVID-19 cases.

Dr. Amy Acton, Ohio Department of Health director, said Thursday once the novel coronavirus reaches its peak in Ohio, the state could see as many as 6,000 to 8,000 new cases per day.

At a news conference Thursday, Dr. Acton presented new data showing that peak in the number of cases could arrive as soon as late April.

Dr. Acton praised Ohioans who are staying home and practicing social distancing but said they need to be doing even more to prevent a sharp spike in cases.

“We will not have the testing that we will be able to test even every sick case,” she said. “We will presume it as such.”

State officials are focused on making sure the limited supply of protective gear available to health care workers lasts as long as possible, Dr. Acton said.

Dr. Roberto Colon, associate chief medical officer for Miami Valley Hospital, told 2 NEWS his facility is not experiencing a strain on resources at the moment, but he added it’s hard to predict what’s coming.

“For the current state, we have more than enough equipment for where we are,” Dr. Colon said. “It’s really trying to figure out our surge capacity. How much can we handle moving forward?”

More equipment is set to arrive at the hospital next month, he added.

Dr. Colon told 2 NEWS he remains cautiously optimistic efforts to stop the spread are working.

“We have to be very careful about jumping to that conclusion too early,” he said. “There are a lot of factors that affect our numbers. One of them is the availability of testing and the turnaround of testing.”

Local officials are in the process of bringing more ventilators to local hospitals like Miami Valley, Dr. Colon said.

Miami Valley Hospital does not have any definitive plans yet to create hospital units in buildings like hotels or dormitories, but that idea is not off the table, Dr. Colon added.

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