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Ohio COVID-19 hospitalizations: How many patients are sick with the virus, and how many are testing positive after coming in for other reasons?

According to doctors from Cleveland's largest hospitals, the vast majority of their COVID patients really are that sick with the virus, not with other ailments.

CLEVELAND — COVID-19 hospitalizations are at record-highs in Ohio.

"We have not seen any decline in hospitalizations," Dr. Joseph Khabbaza, pulmonary and critical care specialist at the Cleveland Clinic, says, "and they continue to inch up each day."

On Tuesday alone, the state's health department reported more than 700 new hospitalizations.

But we wanted to know: How many people is Khabbaza seeing coming in because of COVID, and how many people is he seeing come for other reasons but happen to have COVID?

Per the doctor himself, "I can't really think of a single patient who was in for a random, non-COVID related issue who randomly tested positive for COVID."

Meaning, according to Khabbaza, the numbers are so high because patients really are so sick with the coronavirus.

"I had just over [20] ICU patients, and at most, two of them were non-COVID," he told 3News.

It's a similar story for kids who are hospitalized.

"It's both," University Hospitals Dr. Amy Edwards says. "We are seeing an increase in both kids because of COVID and kids who are simply admitted with COVID, but they are admitted for another reason."

Khabbaza notes everyone admitted to the hospital — no matter the reason — gets tested for COVID-19. However, if you're being treated for non-COVID issues and happen to contract a minor case of the virus, you're released once your care needs are met.

"It's important to know what kind of a room to put these patients in," Khabbaza explained, affirming an example of someone getting hip replacement and then testing positive not necessarily needing to stay just because of the coronavirus. "Extra days in the hospital don't come without risk. The sooner you get out of the hospital, the better."

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