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Health & Science
WKSU, our public radio partners in Ohio and across the region and NPR are all continuing to work on stories on the latest developments with the coronavirus and COVID-19 so that we can keep you informed.

Cleveland Sees Biggest Increases in COVID-19 Hospitalizations Since May

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) reports statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations have reached their highest number since the pandemic began. 

The previous high was in late April.

Locally, COVID-19 hospitalizations over the past few weeks were at their highest since May at both Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals.

Officials said the biggest increases have been in younger patients.

"The increase that we've seen in July seems like it's driven because we've seen increases in younger patients," said Andrea Pacetti, spokeswoman for Cleveland Clinic.

Cleveland Clinic has also seen a rise in intensive care unit and emergency room admissions, Pacetti said.

Both UH and the Clinic have seen slight decreases in hospitalizations this week, after several weeks of increasing numbers.

ODH reports 1,122 COVID-19 patients are being treated in hospitals statewide as of Tuesday. 

“Ohioans have worked hard to slow the spread of this disease. However, these numbers are a stark reminder that this virus is very much still with us," said ODH's interim director Lance Himes in a news release.

Personal protective equipment and staffing numbers have also taken a hit due to recent hospitalizations, Himes said. COVID-19 patients are also requiring longer hospital stays and extensive care, he said.

Just as in Cuyahoga County, the average age of people with COVID-19 has been steadily decreasing statewide, Himes said.

“Being young and healthy does not mean that you will not be hospitalized or have complications,” Himes said. “We also don’t know what the long-term health impacts of COVID-19 are and people who get it may continue to have health issues in the future.”

Representatives from both the Clinic and UH said they have adequate hospital beds and ICU capacity at this time, and have not yet had to activate their surge plans.

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