(COLUMBUS, Ohio) November 23, 2020 —This afternoon, Governor DeWine was joined by leaders of the Ohio Hospital Association to discuss the status of hospital capacity and healthcare personnel needs in Ohio as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to surge throughout the state.
Today, Ohio reported 282 new hospitalizations in the last 24 hours. Additionally, Ohio reported 11,885 COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours. Due to an electronic lab reporting technology issue, information from multiple labs was not processed for two proceeding days and was consequently included in today’s report.
“On Thursday, Ohio hospitals had more than 3,800 COVID-19 patients, which was the highest patient count we had seen so far. Today, we are reporting 4,358 COVID-19 hospitalized patients,” said Governor DeWine. “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.”
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.
Zone 1 has seen a consistent climb in COVID-19 hospitalizations in recent weeks. Additionally, Zone 1 is experiencing a sharp increase in caregivers becoming ill with COVID-19.
“My biggest concern today is that within the Cleveland Clinic system, alone, we had 970 caregivers out due to coronavirus,” said Robert Wyllie, MD of the Cleveland Clinic. “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.”
Two weeks ago, Zone 2 hit a milestone of 560 COVID-19 patients hospitalized throughout the region.
“On November 2, Zone 2 had 400 patients in our hospitals. And not even three weeks later, on November 21, we surpassed over 900 patients,” said Andrew Thomas, MD, MBA, of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “Until we see cases peak and start to come down in a sustained way, Ohio will continue to see hospitalizations rise.”
Additionally, Zone 3 has seen an increase in cases and hospitalizations throughout the region.
“In late September, Zone 3 had 90 hospitalizations. This was at a time when we were opening businesses, and kids were going back to school,” said Richard Lofgren, MD, MPH, FACP, and president and CEO of UC Health. “This really speaks to us because we know how to keep this virus at bay. But, unfortunately this virus is now everywhere.”
The increase in hospitalizations throughout the region has taken a toll on caregivers, as well. Several hospitals in Zone 3 have reported a nursing shortage.
Ronda Lehman, PharmD, MBA, FACHE and president of Mercy Health, also discussed the hospital capacity among many rural communities.
“The number of coronavirus patients who require hospitalizations are happening at a faster rate than we are discharging them,” said Lehman. “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.”
CURRENT CASE DATA
In total, there are 363,304 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 6,020 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 24,705 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 4,454 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.