COVID-19 cases in Ohio hospitals, and around the country, are at record levels.
“We’re sixth in the country for the most hospitalizations, so it’s pretty significant,” said John Palmer, with the Ohio Hospital Association.
The latest COVID-19 surge in the state, according to medical experts, started in Northeast Ohio, but now cases of the very contagious Omicron variant have swept across the state.
“The rest of the state is starting to see an uptick which is creating more demand for health care needs," Palmer said. "Frankly, it’s been very intense situations in hospitals."
On Tuesday, the Cleveland Clinic said they had 1,100 COVID-19 patients, with 220 in the ICU. But now, there's a new concern for doctors.
"What’s concerning us the most is it’s also backing up into the emergency departments. This is something new recently we’ve been experiencing because of the high numbers that patients are waiting in the emergency department for a bed in the hospital or the ICU and that is really very concerning, “said Dr. Raed Dweik, chairman of the Cleveland Clinic Respiratory Institute.
Not only are doctors seeing record number of COVID patients, but doctors and nurses are getting sick with the highly contagious Omicron variant through community spread, and that, Dr. Dweik says, affects all patients.
Dr. Dweik, on the front lines, says he wants to plead with those listening.
"We’re doing our best to take care of patients coming into the hospital," Dr. Dweik said. "We need everyone’s help.”
And that, Dr. Dweik says, means getting vaccinated, including a booster, washing hands often, wearing a mask and social distancing.