During a 2:00 PM cororavirus update, Ohio Governor Mike Dewine stated he is working with hospitals to expand capacity for the rush of COVID-19 patients that are to come. To what extent hospital capacity needs to be expanded is unknown; however, DeWine expects to nearly double the current Ohio hospital capacity. Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton followed-up on Gov. DeWine’s statements by saying, “We have got to even clamp down more. We have got to stay at home and we can’t go the other direction right now”. Dr. Acton spoke of the importance of spreading out the time of infection to allow hospitals time to get ready by doubling their capacity. “It’s not if, but when we will surge. At our peak surge we may be as high as 6,000 to 8,000 new cases a day,” Dr. Acton stated. She added that the peak surge is, “moving out towards the end of April but we hope to get it even further out towards the beginning of May.”
The additional capacity is necessary because the majority of patients who are hospitalized due to COVID-19 stay an average of 23 days. Hospitals are currently equiped for stays on average of 3 – 4 days. With the increased sick population to come coupled with the extended stay, Ohio’s current healthcare capacity will quickly run out which is why DeWine and Acton are working hard to double capacity. Acton did applaud Ohioans stating, “Ohio, what you are doing is absolutely saving lives,” with regards to the measures Ohioans are taking, especially with the stay at home order.
Dr. Acton also mentioned that the Ohio Department of Health has created a new dashboard with an interactive map county by county. This interactive dashboard can be viewed here.
Dr. Acton offered an update on the COVID-19 stats stating that as of today (Thursday, March 26, 2020) there are 867 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio, a 23% increase from yesterday’s number of 704; however, as the state is lacking in tests, Dr. Acton estimates are that many, many more Ohioans are infected with COVID-19 than are being reported. The age range for those infected are 1 – 94 with an average median age range of 51 years. There are 15 confirmed Ohio deaths, a 50% increase up from 10 deaths yesterday with multiple other presumptive coronavirus deaths still under ODH investigation. Of those infected, 223 individuals have been hospitalized with 91 in ICU care. A total of 60 Ohio counties are now affected. Dr. Acton also stated that of those testing positive for coronavirus, 11% of cases are ending up in ICU and those in the ICU as a result currently range from age 23 – 92. Additionally, 17% of those testing positive are healthcare workers.
Lt. Gov. Jon Housted stated that regarding essential business list, “It’s important to read the order in the plain language that’s in that order”. He continued saying, “Please know businesses do not need a letter or certification or anything like that to operate, but we do encourage that you prepare a document that serves as a rationale should a health official or someone in law enforcement show up and ask you to provide a validation for your operations”.
According to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center, as of today (March 26, 2020) there have been a total of 510,108 confirmed cases of Coronavirus worldwide resulting in 22,993 total deaths. The United States has surpasses Spain to take third in the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases according to the Johns Hopkins data. China has 81,782 confirmed cases followed by Italy (80,539) and then the US (75,233). Within the US, as of today, there have been 1,070 total confirmed deaths and 619 confirmed individuals who have recovered.
For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.