Ohio hospitals ‘stressed to the extreme,’ Thanksgiving impact still unknown


CEDARVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) — Governor Mike DeWine had healthcare professionals speak during Thursday’s coronavirus briefing, each person stressing how rapidly hospitals are filling up and how serious the situation is becoming.

As of today, there are 5,142 patients who are currently hospitalized, and 1,204 of those patients are in the intensive care unit.

Throughout the state, one out of every three patients in an ICU has COVID-19. Dr. Andy Thomas of the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, said that hospitals cannot continuously expand the size of ICUs without more highly trained staff.

He said this isn’t the beginning of the end, it isn’t even the end of the beginning. Ohioans haven’t seen the impact of Thanksgiving in their local hospitals yet. Typically, a person is admitted a week after they’re diagnosed.

“We’re in a really difficult spot here, and we’re just now heading into the most challenging 3 months of this pandemic. ICU beds are the area of capacity where we have the biggest strain across the state – especially in rural areas,” said Thomas.

Dr. Nora Colburn, the associate medical director for Clinical Epidemiology at Wexner Medical Center, said hospitals across the state stressed to the extreme and are running out of beds.

“The bottom line is – non-COVID patients are being crowded out of the system and won’t be able to get the care they need to stay healthy. We all must do our part to stop the spread of the virus,” said Colburn.

For the first time since April, Ohio’s positivity for COVID-19 has increased above 15%. DeWine said Ohio’s travel advisory recommends Ohioans stay home except for necessary trips for supplies, as well as consistent mask-wearing and frequent hand washing.

WDTN.com will update this story as more information becomes available.

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