COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– A doctor who joined Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s news conference on Thursday said the state has not seen the impact of Thanksgiving on coronavirus numbers.
The Ohio Department of Health said 8,921 COVID-19 cases, 82 deaths, 396 hospitalizations and 33 intensive care unit admissions were reported in the last 24 hours. The data is incomplete with thousands of reports pending review, according to the state health department.
But expect those numbers to surge higher as people who were exposed to COVID-19 over the holiday begin to show symptoms, said Dr. Andy Thomas, chief clinical officer at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
“Usually, people are admitted a week after they’re diagnosed. This is not the beginning of the end. This is not even the end of the beginning,” Thomas said.
He said there are 5,141 COVID-19 patients in Ohio hospitals and more than 1,200 of them are in intensive care units. While hospitals can take steps to increase capacity, it’s extremely difficult to grow the number of ICU beds because of the specialized staff needed.
“We’re in a really difficult spot here and we’re just now heading into the most challenging three months of this pandemic. ICU beds are the area of capacity where we have the biggest strain across the state, especially in rural areas,” Thomas said.
He said it could force non-COVID patients from the ICU and delay treatment.
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