COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Gov. Mike DeWine and leaders of the Ohio Hospital Association came together to warn Ohioans about the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the state’s medical system.
As of Monday, Nov. 23, a total of 363,304 (+11,885) cases have been reported in Ohio since the pandemic began, leading to 6,020 (+24) deaths and 24,705 (+282) hospitalizations.
The 11,885 new cases in the past 24 hours represent a record high and the first time there have been over 10,000 reported in a day. But DeWine said the number may be artificially high as two labs — Cincinnati’s Mercy Health and the Cleveland Clinic — failed to report for consecutive days. Both days were added to Monday’s total.
And the number is further complicated by a backlog caused by double-checking the results of antigen testing, DeWine said. A notice on the state’s coronavirus dashboard says that data is incomplete with thousands of reports pending review.
The hospital leaders who joined DeWine said the effects of Thanksgiving on the spread of the coronavirus will be seen in the state’s hospitals in about two weeks. The CDC has advised against traveling for the holiday.
Dr. Andrew Thomas of Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center said that the number of coronavirus patients in his medical system has risen from 400 on Nov. 2 to 960 on Monday. Hospitalizations in the spring there peaked at 356.
“We can’t sound the alarm bell loud enough for people in Ohio to change their behavior,” Thomas said.
Thomas said in the next few weeks that hospitals will have to decide how to staff its beds and whether to postpone elective procedures, even potentially postponing ambulatory and outpatient office visits.
Dr. Robert Wyllie of Cleveland Clinic said that his hospital system has 970 caregivers out, either because they have tested positive for COVID-19 or because they need to quarantine. He said that the caregivers were not catching COVID-19 in hospitals but in the community. He said a community response is needed to limit the spread among caregivers.
“We have seen the surge,” said Dr. Richard Lofgren of the University of Cincinnati. “It is here.”