COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are continuing to set records in Ohio as hospitals across the state delay non-essential surgeries to deal with staffing shortages and a surge in patients.
While Northern Ohio is affected the most, hospitals in Dayton and Cincinnati also are starting to delay elective procedures, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said.
Premier Health on Friday announced it will postpone nonemergency procedures amid record COVID hospitalizations, and earlier this week Kettering Health announced it was postponing nonemergency procedures requiring an overnight stay.
In Central Ohio, hospitals are delaying non-essential surgeries through Jan. 21, said The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Andy Thomas.
“That’s a pretty drastic step that hospitals are voluntarily taking so that we can have the capacity we need when we need it,” he said.
Essential surgeries include surgeries to save a life, organ or limb or to prevent the progression of cancer or severe pain.
Over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays Ohio has set multiple COVID records. On New Year’s Eve the state reported 20,590 cases in 24 hours, the most single-day cases recorded by Ohio during the entire pandemic. The state has also broken the record for COVID patients hospitalized in Ohio for eight days in row, with 6,536 people hospitalized with the virus on Thursday. On Wednesday, Ohio reported 1,325 COVID patients in its ICUs, breaking a record set during the winter surge a year ago.
“Our state is experiencing the highest number of COVID-19 driven hosptitzations, ICU admissions and patients on ventilators that we have seen in the entire pandemic,” Vanderhoff said.