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Northeast Ohio's hospitals feeling impact of COVID-19's 4th wave

Beds are filling up and elective surgeries are being postponed as hospitals desperately try to keep up with cases of COVID-19.

CLEVELAND — No one wanted the first wave of COVID-19, let alone a fourth. But it’s here. And not all areas will see it. 

Yet all hospitals will still feel the impact, according to Dr. Keith Armitage with University Hospitals.

"That's where we are seeing hospitals like Elyria, our Portage hospital that are near these less-vaccinated populations and are seeing cases and are seeing proportionately more cases than we are seeing at downtown main campus," Dr. Armitage tells 3News. 

He is talking about Lorain, Summit, Portage, and Trumbull Counties.

Out near Akron, Summa Health System is seeing an overload too. 

According to Dr. David Custodio, president of Summa Health System Akron Campus, some elective surgeries are being postponed. Dr. Custodio adds that Summa will be cutting approximately 20 percent of the available number of beds at its Akron and Barberton campuses.

“The vast majority of our patients with covid are unvaccinated," Dr. Custodio notes.

Dr. James Kravec is with Mercy Health in Youngstown and told us that out of those patients in the ICU on ventilators, 100 percent are unvaccinated.

Three different locations.

Three different doctors. 

But all on the same page when is comes to the impact of COVID-19 and this fourth wave.

Dr. Kravec adds, “this isn't September of 2020, this is September of 2021. We have a tool in the tool box: It's the vaccine.”

Dr. Custodio urges residents not to abuse emergency rooms. "Folks are starting to utilize the emergency room for covid testing, that is not where you want to go to get that clearance to get on an airplane or get back in school."

Meanwhile, Dr. Armitage advises boosters for those elderly patients. “I think for people over 65 and high risk, boosting is boosting," he says.

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