Ohio Governor DeWine Calls Special Presser to Talk State Hospital Capacity


Ohio Governor Mike DeWine called a special briefing Monday to update Ohioans on the record number of COVID hospital admissions statewide. He was joined by members of the Ohio Hospital Association – Robert Wyllie, Cleveland Clinic; Andrew Thomas, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center; Richard Lofgren, UC Health; Ronda Lehman, Mercy Health.

In a press release, Governor DeWine’s communication team stated “at the beginning of the pandemic, Governor DeWine worked with the Ohio Hospital Association to develop a comprehensive statewide public health system to ensure that all Ohioans have access to quality care during the pandemic. As part of this process, the state was divided into three healthcare zones. Leaders of each zone provided an update on hospital capacity in their regions.

Dr. Wyllie leads Zone 1.

Dr. Thomas leads Zone 2.

Dr. Lofgren leads Zone 3.

“The virus is quickly spreading throughout our entire state and is dramatically impacting all of our healthcare zones and their ability to care for patients,” said DeWine.

Ohio reported its highest number of COVID hospitalizations to date – 4,358 patients, said DeWine during the presser.

In addition to seeing an increased demand for hospital care, the Ohio health care system is stressed due to the loss of caregivers who are in forced COVID quarantine.

According to Wyllie, Cleveland Clinic, alone, has 978 caregivers unavailable due to COVID. Lofgren also indicated that hospitals in the region are short staffed due to COVID.

“These caregivers are not catching this in the hospital, but rather in the community.  As the community spread increases, so does the number of caregivers who are in quarantine from exposure or who are sick with coronavirus,” said Wyllie.

Lofgren also signaled that lifting restrictions was the culprit of increased cases saying, “when we were opening businesses and kids were going back to school” COVID hospitalizations were at 90 but the region has seen a significant rise in COVID inpatient care.

During the press conference, Ronda Lehman – speaking on behalf of rural health systems – said, “The number of coronavirus patients who require hospitalizations are happening at a faster rate than we are discharging them.”

“The ability to discharge patients safely with adequate care, such as providing oxygen or skilled nursing home placement, is also burdened like our hospital systems,” she added.

During a White House Coronavirus press briefing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield made comments that run counter to the idea that school openings are causing COVID spread.  Redfield said:

I will say, back in the spring, there was limited data; today, there’s extensive data that we have — we’ve gathered over the last two to three months — to confirm that K-through- 12 schools can operate with face-to-face learning, and they can do it safely and they can do it responsibly

The infections that we’ve identified in schools, when they’ve been evaluated, were not acquired in schools.  They were actually acquired in the community and in the household.

According to the Current Trends section of the state COVID website, Ohio reported 11,885 cases on Monday. Hospitalizations reported were 282, ICU admissions 36 and deaths 24.

Per the state hospitalization dashboard, the media age of hospitalization is 66 years.

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Jack Windsor is Managing Editor and an Investigative Reporter at The Ohio Star. Windsor is also an Investigative Reporter at WMFD-TV. Follow Jack on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].









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