COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) – The Ohio Department of Health held a press conference Friday on the COVID case surge in Ohio.

ODH Director Bruce Vanderhoff, MD, MBA, said new COVID-19 cases in the state are up 247% in the last 2 weeks.

The Ohio Hospital Association reports 6,540 are currently hospitalized in Ohio with COVID-19.

That’s 1 in 3 patients.

More than 3700 of those patients are receiving care in Northeast Ohio, according to Robert Wyllie, MD, Chief Medical Operations Officer at the Cleveland Clinic.

Admissions are up in every age group.

228 kids under 17 were admitted over the last week.

Dr. Wyllie says 75% of people who are in the hospital are unvaccinated. That number increases to 91% of people who are on a ventilator.

“COVID is not going away. It’s with us for the long haul,” said Vanderhoff.

Live updates:

  • Scheduled to speak: Bruce Vanderhoff, MD, MBA, Director, Ohio Department of Health
  • Major General John C. Harris, Jr., Adjutant General, Ohio National Guard 
  • Andy Thomas, MD, Chief Clinical Officer, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center  
  • Robert Wyllie, MD, Chief Medical Operations Officer, Cleveland Clinic
  • “Our vaccines continue to offer remarkable protection against hospitalization and death.” – Dr. Vanderhoff
  • Inpatient hospitalizations have set new daily highs since Dec. 29, 2021
  • More than 1300 of 6500 people hospitalized in the state are in ICU
  • 247% increase in COVID cases from 2 weeks ago in Ohio
  • Greater Cleveland area among the hardest hit in the state
  • Dr. Vanderhoff says it’s an “omicron tsunami”
  • Hospitals extending measure to postpone elective surgeries requiring inpatient stay – Dr. Thomas
  • Dr. Thomas says most patients suffering from omicron are seeing more upper respiratory symptoms, less on taste and sense of smell
  • Cleveland and Akron area seeing omicron and delta cases
  • More than 3700 of the state’s hospitalizations in Northeast Ohio, another 1300 in Akron area – Dr. Wyllie
  • Some hospitals are delaying all elective surgeries so staff can be used to help in other areas
  • 75% in the hospital unvaccinated, 91% on ventilators unvaccinated – Dr. Wyllie
  • 1200+ Ohio National Guard members deployed across Ohio
  • 39% of people testing positive at W.O. Walker Center – Dr. Wyllie
  • About 20k people tested at W.O. Walker Center – Dr. Wyllie
  • “COVID is not going away. It’s with us for the long haul.” – Dr. Vanderhoff
  • Northeast Ohio has begun to drop from its peak of new cases – Dr. Wyllie
  • Decline seen in South Africa may not be as sharp in Ohio because state’s population averages 10+ years older
  • “Ohio as a state will peak toward the end of January.” – Dr. Thomas on omicron
  • Face masks best way to protect students – Dr. Thomas
  • Ohio and Great Lakes region has been the epicenter of the delta winter surge, followed by omicron – Dr. Vanderhoff