Ohio hospital leaders say COVID cases dominating their facilities

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 5:12 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTAP) - Administrators from Ohio hospitals Tuesday gave detailed, and, in some instances, heartfelt stories of their experiences with the recent surge of COVID-19 cases.

Hospitals both large and small said in a briefing by Gov. Mike DeWine the Delta Variant-influenced rise in cases has heavily taxed their bed and intensive care capacities, and it’s affecting their ability to deal with other medical emergencies.

”If you have any other serious medical problem, and go to your hospital, you may run into a jam getting in, basically,” DeWine said to Alan Rivera, M.D., Hospitalist, Fulton County Health Center.

“If you come to our emergency room, we’re going to see you, and we’re going to do the best we can,” Dr. Rivera responded. “But if you come in and you’re having a heart attack, and you need to go to a cardiac cath lab for intervention to minimize your heart damage, and those tertiary centers have no capability of taking those patients, the best we’re going to do is medical management only, so it’s still not the best outcome for those patients.”>

West Virginia, in the last five days, has had the biggest decline in COVID-19 cases since early summer.

The Department of Health and Human Resources says the number of active cases Monday was 17,431. Just last Thursday-five days ago-it was nearly 30,000.

The local area also has seen a declline. The number of active cases reported Monday in Wood County was 830, nearly half the 1,500 cases reported last Thursday.

Gov. Jim Justice said Monday it appears the rise in cases, which started in mid-July, has peaked.

18 deaths were reported in West Virginia Monday, including one in Wood County.

Back in Ohio, state data says the number of people age 39 and younger hospitalized for COVID is the highest of the pandemic.

Gov. DeWine stopped short of saying he would issue vaccine mandates. In response to a reporter’s question about a recent death of a firefighter, he said he would not issue mandates for first responders.

But he did say he is considering incentive program, similar to the first-in-the-nation “Vax-A-Million” lottery rolled out earlier this summer.

Gov. Justice recently authorized a second round of the “Do It For Babydog” contest, which is now in progress.

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