COVID hospitalizations reach all-time high in region

Hospitals in the region had more COVID-19 hospitalizations on Monday than anytime during the nearly two-year pandemic as coronavirus patients continue to strain health care systems across the state and country.

The state reported 18,042 new COVID cases on Monday, bringing the 21-day average to a record 16,764.

Hospitals in Champaign, Clark, Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble and Shelby counties had 600 COVID patients hospitalized Monday, up 33 from the day before and a 57% increase over the last 21 days, according to the Ohio Hospital Association. Of those, 95 are receiving intensive, care, which accounts for one-quarter of all ICU patents in the west central Ohio region.

Hospitals in the southwest region, which includes Adams, Brown, Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton, Highland and Warren counties, reported 958 COVID patients Monday, also an all-time high, according to OHA data.

Statewide, 6,747 coronavirus patients were in Ohio’s hospitals Monday, according to the Ohio Department of Health. That figure represents one-third of all hospitalizations and is a 40% increase over the last 21 days. Hospitalizations included 1,276 COVID patients receiving intensive care with 859 on ventilators.

Unvaccinated Ohioans are driving hospitalizations. At Kettering Health and Premier Health hospitals last week, 89% of COVID patients in the ICU were unvaccinated, according to the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association.

Dayton-area hospital authorities have begged residents to get vaccinated to prevent serious illness and reduce the burden on the health care system. Last week, Kettering Health and Premier Health announced that their hospital networks would postpone all nonemergency procedures and surgeries requiring an overnight stay due to the strain of the pandemic. Mercy Health, which operates hospitals in Springfield, Fairfield, Cincinnati and Urbana, announced Monday that it has postponed elective procedures amid the surge in new cases.

The number of illnesses caused by COVID-19 also has put a strain on school systems.

Springfield City Schools joined other districts including Fairborn, Huber Heights, West Carrollton and Northridge that have started online learning this week because of high staff and student absences. Most districts said they expected to return next week to in-person learning.

As of Monday, 60.4% of all Ohioans have had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, including 70.57% of adults and 64.19% of those 5 and older. In addition, 55.51% of Ohioans have completed the vaccine, including 65.36% of adults and nearly 59% of those 5 and older.

More than 2.9 million Ohioans have received a booster vaccine dose, including 13,048 in the last day, according to ODH data.

COVID-related deaths of Ohioans passed 30,000 on Friday, which it added 398 deaths to bring the total to 30,072. The state updates mortality data twice each week as reports are received.

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