Of all hospitalizations in the state, more than 50 percent are in Zone 1, but there are currently enough hospital beds, personal protective equipment (PPE), medication, and ventilators. Total beds utilized and intensive care beds utilized in Zone 1 currently stands at 70 to 75 percent. This zone, however, is seeing many caregivers becoming ill with COVID-19. At the Cleveland Clinic alone, there are currently 300 caregivers out due to the coronavirus.
“It’s not because they’re catching COVID in the hospital. What we’re seeing is they’re catching it in the community,” said Robert Wyllie, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic. “What we’re asking everyone to do is double down. Now is the time to wear a mask and socially distance – if not to protect your family and friends, do it to protect the caregivers who protect COVID patients and other hospitalized patients.”
Last Monday, Zone 2 hit a milestone of 400 patients in the hospital, and by Friday, the number surpassed 500 patients. Today there are over 560 COVID-19 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Zone 2.
Because patients are normally admitted 7 to 14 days after symptoms arise, hospitals are expecting to see hospitalizations continue to increase for at least two weeks after COVID-19 cases peak which could impact non-COVID care.
“We need the citizens of Ohio do to the same things they did in the spring and summer – take seriously masking, distancing, washing hands, and especially avoiding large gatherings of people you don’t live with where you can’t control your environment and you can’t protect yourself or loved ones from someone in that crowd who is asymptomatic positive,” said Andrew Thomas, MD, MBA, of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Zone 3 has had an unprecedented increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations since the beginning of October. There are over 670 patients hospitalized today, as compared to 300 patients at the peak of the previous surge in July. In the greater-Cincinnati area, the positivity rate had been approximately 3 percent but is now standing at approximately 8 percent.
In Zone 3, the growth of hospitalizations is doubling every three weeks. Right now, Zone 3 can accommodate the current capacity of patients, but if the doubling of cases continues to accelerate, this zone could exhaust resources and may have to defer non-COVID care.
“If we do what we did in the past – adhering to social distancing, wearing a mask, washing hands, and not expanding your personal bubble, we can bring the spread of this virus under control,” said Richard Lofgren, MD, MPH, FACP, and president and CEO of UC Health.
Ronda Lehman, president of Mercy Health, Lima region, also discussed the hospital capacity in their hospital system, which encompasses many rural communities. There is currently adequate capacity of PPE, ventilators, and hospital beds, however, hospitalizations are increasing. On October 5, the hospital system had 17 COVID-19 patients, and today they are treating 75 patients who are COVID-19 positive.
“This is a stark challenge for us because this is in addition to the normal fall flu and critical illness admissions, and it’s not sustainable,” said Lehman. “This is not a metro problem, this is a statewide and countrywide problem. Those in small communities should recognize that their behaviors do have a substantial impact to their neighbors, their local hospitals, the people they worship with, the people they go to school with, and the people they care about in their circles.”
CURRENT CASE DATA
In total, there are 254,974 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 5,524 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 20,651 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 4,047 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.
Video of today’s full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page.
For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.