COLUMBUS, Ohio — As cases of COVID-19 once again rise in Ohio, several medical professionals came together Monday to spread the word: Coronavirus cases are surging at an alarming rate.
One of the physicians, Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff of OhioHealth, detailed the struggles and issues that the state and it's medical personnel are dealing with as cases skyrocket.
"We are seeing within the state, an unprecedented spike in hospital utilizations and it is impacting all areas of the state," Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said during Monday's COVID-19 briefing. "Our previous waves during the spring and summer months were much smaller and we were able to avoid overwhelming our hospitals by pulling together to reduce spread."
Dr. Vanderhoff said that Ohio is better off right now because of the months spent with cases trending downwardly, but that current projections are not looking great and that everyone is starting to feel the struggle.
"Today, we are better prepared with the personal protective equipment and physical capacity, however, what we are seeing now is cases surge and an increasing demand on our staffing," Dr. Vanderhoff said. "Every county in the state is feeling the brunt of rising COVID-19 hospitalizations."
Dr. Vanderhoff continued, "those hospitals are staffed by nurses, physicians, and other healthcare professionals who live in those communities. As COVID-19 rates rise in our communities, that depletes our staff as more and more of them are pulled from the bedside by community exposure."
Several other medical professionals, including Dr. Robert Wyllie of the Cleveland Clinic, were also in agreement with Dr. Vanderhoff's statements. Dr. Wyllie even pointed out during the panel discussion that the 300 medical workers within the Cleveland Clinic hospital family are currently out due to either exposure or contraction of the virus.
“In the intensive care unit we're using about 13 or 14% of the beds, and with again total ICU use of about 70 to 75%. But what we're seeing is we're getting a lot of our caregivers who are coming down with covid. We have over 300 out at the Cleveland clinic alone to - so everyone's having staffing challenges. And it's not because they are catching covid in a hospital, what we're seeing is they're catching it in the community,” said Dr. Wyllie.
"Not surprisingly, our hospitals statewide, are approaching maximum capacity, not because of limitations of safety supplies or physical beds, but because we're exhausting the available supply of trained personnel,” said Dr. Vanderhoff.
The same goes for UH Geauga Medical Center, where the Chief Medical Officers tells 3News that it is at nearly 100 percent capacity with about 15 percent covid positive.
"We are at capacity right now, when you look back to march, April and early May, our covid percentage was higher the 30 percent range but back then we didn't have elective surgeries,” Dr. Anthony Munii/UH Geauga Medical Center, Chief Medical Officer.
Doctors say this doesn't mean tomorrow they will be stopping elective surgeries, however it is a warning sign.
"If we don't control the spread of the virus and our case number we won't be able to continue caring for the acutely ill,” said Dr. Vanderhoff.
You can watch Monday's full COVID-19 briefing in the player below: