Ohio COVID-19 Hospitalizations Set Pandemic Record

The Greater Columbus Convention Center was transformed into a makeshift COVID-19 hospital in April as officials expected a surge of cases. It was torn down but officials said it could be reassembled in a few days if needed.
The Greater Columbus Convention Center was transformed into a makeshift COVID-19 hospital in April as officials expected a surge of cases. It was torn down but officials said it could be reassembled in a few days if needed. [Greater Columbus Convention Center.]
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There were more than 1,400 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio Thursday, with 21 new confirmed deaths.

And the numbers of people hospitalized with COVID are at their highest levels so far in the pandemic. But the state’s hospitals say they’re ready.

There are 1,105 people hospitalized with COVID in Ohio, higher than at the peak in the spring. The state’s intensive care units have 365, patients up from 347 Wednesday and there are 178 patients on ventilators.

 

Ohio’s positivity rate is 6.4 percent with a 7-day rolling average of 6.3, all according to the Ohio Department of Health on Thursday afternoon.

Dr. Deborah Birx from the White House coronavirus task force told officials on a private call that there are 12 Ohio cities with increasing levels of virus spread, including Cleveland and Columbus. "Aggressive" action should be taken, she said.

Ohio Hospital Association president and CEO Mike Abrams said the system is at 72 percent capacity, a number that sounds high but he said is expected.

“In the event that we would see a surge beyond what the hospitals could accommodate, we have buildout plans in all three zones throughout the state and we could delay procedures again if it got to that," Abrams said.

But the OHA said no hospitals or ICUs are operating at or close to 100 perent capacity.

While Gov. Mike DeWine said the state is at a tipping point, he notes that unlike a few months ago, facilities now have those buildout plans in place should a surge happen.

Spikes in COVID-19 cases in Florida have overwhelmed hospitals there. Intensive care beds in Texas have been filling up, and for the first time in history, officials in Arizona have activated protocols to prioritize treatment because beds are becoming scarce.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

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