State leaders: 10,000 new coronavirus cases possible every day when peak hits, two- to three-times more hospital beds are needed

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – On Friday, Governor DeWine announced the state will immediately begin work to expand hospital capacity. New data shows the state needs two- to three-times the number of beds currently on hand. 

Governor DeWine and Dr. Acton said research from the Cleveland Clinic shows as many as 10,000 people could test positive for the coronavirus every single day once the peak of the spread hits Ohio. 

Hospitals throughout the state simply do not have enough beds for the number of patients expected, and work is underway right now to increase capacity. 

Dr. Amy Acton says, “You could fill the ICUs in three days, you can fill hospitals in a week.” 

New modeling announced Friday reveals the state of Ohio’s hospitals could quickly be overrun by coronavirus cases when the worst of the spread hits. 

Governor DeWine says, “Within about two weeks it’s going to kick in much harder. And we’re going to start getting hit hard in our hospitals and our hospital admissions.” 

That peak is now expected in mid-May, meaning the worst of the pandemic may still be six weeks away. Social distancing will continue, but now the state is preparing for patients. The Governor says, “We need now to look to a two- and possibly three-times build out of what we have today in our hospital beds and ICU beds.” 

That includes hospitals in the Miami Valley, which are working to analyze where beds can be added. Dr. Roberto Colon is the Associate Chief Medical Officer at Miami Valley Hospital. He says, “As an individual facility this is not something we’re going to be able to tackle by ourselves alone. We are going to need to have all of the resources in the area to be able to meet this.” 

They’re also looking at creative staffing solutions as more doctors and nurses could be pressed into service. Kettering Health Network is surveying retired staff members to see what training they would need. Brenda Kuhn is the Chief Clinical Officer at Kettering Health Network. She says, “We’re looking at where we have staff that we’re not using right now, related to our elective surgeries standing down.” 

The state was broken into eight regions. Each is instructed to have its draft plans ready by 9 a.m. Saturday. Dr. Acton says, “We don’t know how our body might react to it. That’s why it’s so important that we have the hospital capability for you if your condition worsens.” 

Governor DeWine’s daily updates will continue Saturday at 2 p.m. He’s asked Major General John Harris, the Commander of the Ohio National Guard, to speak about the process to increase the state’s capacity to care for the sick. 

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