CLEVELAND — Each day there's a new announcement that depicts the total number of coronavirus cases in Ohio. The state has now surpassed 200,000 cases since the start of the pandemic with 200,231 cases.
According to Gov. Mike DeWine, the coronavirus cases are peaking and so are hospital admissions.
Dr. Joseph Khabbaza works directly with Intensive care unit patients at the Cleveland Clinic.
"The current ICU I'm sitting out of now, ten days ago we had zero covid patients and as of a couple hours ago we are up to nine and they are very critical, six of them are on ventilators and it looks very similar to how it looked in April, May and June,” said Dr. Khabbaza. "Right now we have an ICU with non-covid and half filled with covid because the overall hospital volume is going to be much higher compared to those months when we were preparing back in the spring."
Dr. Claudia Hoyen of University Hospitals shares the same worries.
“We don't want to see people not get the health care that they need because the health care system is overwhelmed. And not just patients with covid. Again, when ICUs get busy it affects everything…it affects car accidents, it affects heart attacks,” said Dr. Hoyen. "We saw it earlier in the year with places like New York and those visions and those images of refrigerated cars outside of hospitals is very frightening but if we don't' get this right that is where we will be."
So what do we do?
"I tell all of my patients, it's a pretty easy infection to avoid, you kind of have to go out of your way to get it. We just have to go back to the basics of distance, covering the mouth and nose, the two areas where droplets come out and where droplets come in and also hand-washing,” said Dr. Khabbaza. "We have critically ill patients who they don't know what's going on but their loved ones are so worried about them and they can't visit them and it can be a very tortuous experience with fear and not being able to be there."
Ten Northeast Ohio counties are currently under a Level 3 "red" alert as far as risk for COVID-19, indicating "very high exposure and spread." They are:
- Cuyahoga (watch list for Level 4)