DeWine says state remains concerned over virus cases in Montgomery County


DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Governor DeWine said Monday that the Dayton and Cincinnati regions are showing a recent increase in hospital utilization.

He said this increase includes standard beds, as well as ICU beds and ventilators.

However, he stressed that overall, hospitals are still operating with adequate capacity. No region has reached the “concern threshold” of 80 percent overall utilization of ICU beds.

This increase in hospital occupancy is also apparent in the Cleveland region. In other regions of the state, COVID hospital occupancy had been declining but now seems to have leveled off, according to recent data.

DeWine says the state remains “on alert” regarding cases in Montgomery County. He says that in a conversation with Vice President Mike Pence and the White House, Montgomery County and Hamilton County were specifically discussed. DeWine was told that additional help would be sent for these two communities.

There has been a notable increase in cases over the last month in Montgomery County from an average of about 10 cases a day at the end of May to about 40 cases a day in the most recent week. The community is also showing early signs that more people are seeking medical care for COVID symptoms. Outpatient visits, for example, grew from an average of nearly 7 visits per day to 27.

Dr. Michael Dohn, the Medical Director at Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County, says that the age group of 20-39-year-olds now account for over one-third of positive cases, which he says was not the case previously.

While many people in this age group will likely only experience mild or no symptoms, Dr. Dohn says questions remain regarding the long-term effects of the virus.

The governor is urging Ohioans, especially those in Hamilton, Montgomery, and surrounding counties, to “redouble their efforts” to social distance, wear masks in public, and wash their hands to help ensure there are enough hospital and ICU beds to treat everyone who needs care.

According to Sarah Hackenbracht, president and CEO of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association, the spike in hospitalizations in the Miami Valley is largely concentrated to Montgomery County, but doctors are treating COVID-19 patients across the region.

“While we have seen hospitalizations increase, they are still a very manageable number for our region,” Hackenbracht said. “And so we’re still at a level that no one in the Dayton region should be concerned about their ability to receive hospital care.”

Hospitals are continuing to stock up on protective equipment and make sure they’re ready to handle any additional spike in COVID-19 patients, she said.

“If one individual hospital starts to see an increase in volume and capacity, that we have partner hospitals throughout out eight-county region who are prepared to step up and assist,” Hackenbracht said.

Gov. DeWine is encouraging Ohioans, especially those living in Montgomery and Hamilton counties, to get tested for the virus.

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