CLEVELAND (WJW) — A never ending influx of COVID-19 patients has doctors across the country and here in Northeast Ohio very concerned.
After taking a break on Thanksgiving, the state released updated numbers late Friday afternoon.
Over the last two days, Ohio saw 17,065 new cases, 72 additional deaths, 474 new hospitalizations and 44 new ICU admissions.
“It’s nothing like I’ve ever seen before,” said University Hospitals Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Amy Edwards. “I’m not trying to be overly dramatic, but there are already hospitals in Ohio that are having to transfer patients to other hospitals because they are full.”
Dr. Edwards says University Hospitals is okay right now, but if the trend continues at the current pace they could also run out of beds or potentially not have adequate space for other emergency patients.
“What if you get into a car accident and there’s no bed because of all the Covid,” said Dr. Edwards. “It will run out and when it runs out more people will die.”
She says they are getting reports of problems in other states reaching or nearing maximum capacity from South Dakota to Iowa and Nebraska.
The problem is two-fold. Not only is the virus rapidly spreading, but Covid patients are hospitalized twice as long and require twice the care as other patients.
“It’s a lot of work. If you have a unit full of Covid patients, every patient, they each have to have their own nurse,” said Dr. Edwards. “Doctors and nurses are going to start to break down.”
And those numbers do not reflect possible transmissions on Thanksgiving day.
But that’s not even the hardest part says Dr. Edwards, “The calling me a liar or telling me I’m making stuff up or some conspiracy, that is the hardest part. This virus does not care if you believe in it or not.”
Dr. Edwards says Ohioans know what to do to flatten the curve because we’ve done it twice before.
Now more than ever, she says everyone needs to wear masks, practice social distancing and avoid social gatherings because the end is in sight.
The first batch of the COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in the state around Dec. 15 and another batch the following week.
Healthcare workers, first responders and high risk individuals will be first to get vaccinated.
“So we just need to do this a little bit longer and this could be over, but if we don’t then a whole lot of people will die that never needed to die,” said Dr. Edwards.
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