Hospitals in northeast Ohio report an increase in COVID-19 – Community News
Covid-19

Hospitals in northeast Ohio report an increase in COVID-19

Hospitals in northeast Ohio are reporting an increase in COVID-19 patients.

CLEVELAND — Editor’s Note: The video in the player above is from a previous story.

Hospitals in Northeast Ohio are reporting an increase in COVID-19 patients. The increase has increased the pressure on hospitals and emergency facilities.

“Day to day it has been very stressful,” says Dr. Brian Harte, general manager of Cleveland Clinic Akron.

Harte said the stress is related to keeping up with the demand for care in the community.

“We’re seeing a higher number of COVID patients, as high or higher than what we saw a year ago, which is the last time we saw a really big increase. At the same time, the demand for other services is truly unprecedented.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, the healthcare industry has seen a significant increase in COVID patients. About a month ago, on Nov. 1, the clinic reported that there were 319 patients in hospitals in Ohio. Now that number has more than doubled to more than 700 patients.

“Unfortunately, we still have a large number of people who have not been vaccinated, and that is driving the hospitalizations,” Harte says.

Harte said about 80 percent of COVID patients at Akron General are unvaccinated. He notes that with the increase in the number of patients, the demands on the emergency room are increasing. It’s something North Canton Fire Chief John Bacon has seen firsthand in Stark County.

“We’re normally in and out in about 35 to 40 minutes tops,” Bacon said. “But we’re doubling our time in the hospital.”

Bacon said the long wait times raise concerns about staffing levels and responding to other emergencies.

“A small department like me, I have four ambulances. If three are in the hospital, I’ll have one left,” Bacon said.

That demand changes from day to day, but hospital and emergency services say the need to stay prepared and alert remains the same.

“We all see significant demands on our emergency departments and longer wait times than we’re comfortable with,” Harte said.

There’s no timetable on when the trend could change to ease stress on hospitals and emergency services, but Harte said they’re not out of the woods just yet.

“Even if the number of cases drops, which I hope they do as soon as possible, the challenge for the hospitals will remain for quite some time,” Harte said.

University Hospitals have also noticed a rise and released the following statement to WKYC:

National health systems are booming due to increased hospitalization from COVID-19 and demand for non-COVID-19. Our region is not exempt from this. University hospitals leverage the power of our 23 hospital system to meet the healthcare needs of our patients.

Nearly all of the wave of critically ill patients admitted to our hospitals for COVID-19 are unvaccinated patients. We continue to provide information on the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines and encourage our patients to get vaccinated.