DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Across the Miami Valley hospitals are being pushed to the edge as they try to manage growing numbers of COVID-19 patients.
“We need people to take us seriously now, to wear their masks, and get vaccinated so we can come out of this on the other side,” said Sarah Hackenbracht, the president and CEO for the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association.
Across the region — which includes Montgomery, Greene, Miami, Preble, Clark, Champaign, Darke, and Shelby counties — 1 in 6 hospital patients are COVID-19 positive. The Miami Valley has 373 people hospitalized with COVID-19, 89 of them are in the ICU and a staggering 71 people are on ventilators.
“We’ve got to have people understand how serious this is for our hospitals. When we see people going about their day, not wearing masks, going to football games, going to large scale community events, and pretending covid is not an issue, it is causing us grave concern,” Hackenbracht said.
Health leaders said the region’s hospitals are prepared to open new COVID units as we inch closer to a previous peak of 522 patients hospitalized in our region last December.
As the pandemic pushes area hospitals beyond their limits Hackenbracht said it’s also weighing heavily on our caregivers.
“It is something that I truly think is starting to take the wind out of their sails as they try to provide care and continue to come across people, particularly for covid-19, that could’ve avoided being hospitalized had they gotten vaccinated,” she said.