Gov. DeWine, Ohio health officials visit Ohio River cities

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 5:53 PM EDT
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WOOD COUNTY, W.Va. (WTAP) - The issue Gov. Mike DeWine and those who stood with him at a local media availability Friday afternoon wanted the public to know, is the Delta Variant-related rise in COVID patients is straining local hospitals-so much that their workers potentially cannot deal with other patients.

”None of us wants our hospitals to actually reach the point that they are so busy that they are unable to care for patients who come with other medical problems,” said Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff,” problems that are not COVID-19.”

DeWine, Dr. Vanderhoff and First Lady Fran DeWine flew to three Ohio river cities-Parkersburg, Wheeling and Minford, Ohio-to deliver the message about vaccinations and the recent effects of the coronavirus on victims and on the hospitals trying to treat them.

And while Dr. Vanderhoff urged people to seek non-COVID treatment at other types of medical offices, the head of one of them said they, too, are feeling the pinch.

“Unfortunately, several of them, within days of being well, or not appearing critically ill, die within 2-3 days<” said Dr. Jeffrey Patey, founder and director of QCA Urgent Care in Marietta. “There can be several turns.”

While the message of “safe and effective” vaccines continues, there was some clarification about the reason for getting the shot.

“It wasn’t designed necessarily to tell you you were not going to get COVID,” said Dr. Dan Breece, Chief Medical Officer, Memorial Health System. “But it surely was designed to shorten your symptoms, blunt the symptoms you were going to get, and keep you out of the hospital and keep you from dying.”

And Gov. DeWine denounced legislation proposed by Ohio lawmakers, much like bills being proposed in West Virginia, aimed at discouraging businesses and others from mandating vaccinations.

“We should allow the hospitals to make their own decisions about what it takes to keep their employees safe, and what it takes to keep their patients safe.”

Near the end of his media availability, the governor emphatically referrred to those who have passed away from COVID-more than 3,300 in West Virginia and more than 21,000 in Ohio.

”Every family has tragedy; everyone sees people die during their lives. But when you see people die, and I see people as Governor of Ohio die every day who did not have to die, it breaks my heart. And we have to change things; we have get more people vaccinated.”

On July 4th, in region 8, which includes southeast Ohio, there were four people hospitalized with COVID-19, with no patients in intensive care and none on ventilators.

On September 3rd, that number had increased to 120 hospitalized, 26 in ICU, and 19 on ventilators. Thursday, (September 16) there were 172 hospitalized, 48 in ICU and 35 on ventilators.

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