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Some Ohio Hospitals Are At or Nearing Capacity Right Now

 John Palmer, Ohio Hospital Association
Jo Ingles
Statehouse News Bureau
John Palmer, of the Ohio Hospital Association, says hospitals simply don't have enough staff to handle the continuing increases in COVID-19 patients.

Some Ohio hospitals are reeling from the recent uptick in COVID cases on top of already existing staffing shortages.

The Ohio Hospital Association’s John Palmer says two Southern Ohio hospitals have already hit their ICU capacity, and he fears others could do the same soon. The problem, he says, is hospitals just don’t have enough staff.

“We have plans in place to help alleviate and what we call patient diversion strategies. But frankly, if all of the other states around us are overwhelmed, and we are seeing other increases, it’s going to get very dire," Palmer said.

Southern Ohio Medical Center's posting on Facebook
Southern Ohio Medical Center
Southern Ohio Medical Center in Portsmouth shared this on Facebook this past weekend.

Palmer says staff vaccination mandates are exacerbating the problem, but he says it’s important to make sure medical workers are vaccinated. He says unvaccinated caregivers are contributing to staffing shortages. Palmer says health care workers who opt-out of vaccines won’t necessarily be terminated but might have to test for COVID more frequently or wear more protective equipment.
Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.