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Ohio COVID-19 Hospitalizations Set Pandemic Record

The Greater Columbus Convention Center was transformed into a makeshift COVID-19 hospital in April as officials expected a surge of cases. It was torn down but officials said it could be reassembled in a few days if needed.
Greater Columbus Convention Center.
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The Greater Columbus Convention Center was transformed into a makeshift COVID-19 hospital in April as officials expected a surge of cases. It was torn down but officials said it could be reassembled in a few days if needed.

There were more than 1,400 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio Thursday, with 21 new confirmed deaths. And the numbers of people hospitalized with COVID are at their highest levels so far in the pandemic. But the state’s hospitals say they’re ready.

There are 1,100 people hospitalized with COVID in Ohio, higher than at the peak in the spring.

1,105 current hospitalizations (up from 1,098 yesterday)

365 in ICU (up from 347 yesterday)

178 on ventilators (up from 169 yesterday)

Total tests 1,240,659: 23,397 new, up from 21,491 new yesterday

Positivity rate 6.4%; 7-day moving average 6.3%— Karen Kasler (@karenkasler) July 23, 2020

And Dr. Deborah Birx from the White House coronavirus task force told officials on a private call that there are 12 cities with increasing levels of virus spread. That list includes Cleveland and Columbus.

Andhttps://twitter.com/karenkasler/status/1286360935532093445?s=20Ohio Hospital Association president and CEO Mike Abrams said the system is at 72 percent capacity, a number that sounds high but he said is expected.

“In the event that we would see a surge beyond what the hospitals could accommodate, we have buildout plans in all three zones throughout the state and we could delay procedures again if it got to that," Abrams said.

But the OHA said no hospitals or ICUs are operating at or close to 100% capacity.

While Gov. Mike DeWine said the state is at a tipping point, he notes that unlike a few months ago, facilities now have those buildout plans in place should a surge happen.

Spikes in COVID-19 cases in Florida have overwhelmed hospitals there. Intensive care beds in Texas have been filling up, and for the first time in history, officials in Arizona have activated protocols to prioritize treatment because beds are becoming scarce.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.
Karen Kasler
Contact Karen at 614/578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.