Ohio Department of Health director Dr Bruce Vanderhoff said the record number of cases right now is leading to record hospitalizations. He uses the word “tsunami” to describe this surge, caused by the omicron variant.
“Our state is experiencing the highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, intensive care admissions and ventilator patients that we have seen throughout this pandemic. And unfortunately, those beds continue to be filled, better than nine times out of 10, with unvaccinated people, ”Vanderhoff said.
Dr Andy Thomas of OSU Wexner Medical Center said more than 40% of tests performed at the hospital’s new drive-thru site in Columbus came back positive.
“Now we’re over 40% at many sites across the state. It’s just different territory than we’ve been in before, ”said Thomas.
Health officials began setting up COVID-19 mass test sites in some of Ohio’s largest cities a few weeks ago and more are underway for smaller communities. The Ohio National Guard is participating in testing at some sites.
Dr Robert Wyllie of the Cleveland Clinic says the high number of positive cases is leading to hospitalizations. And he says the sickest patients are not vaccinated.
“75% of people hospitalized are not vaccinated. 87% in intensive care are not vaccinated. And 91% of people on ventilators are not vaccinated, ”said Wyllie.
About 59% of eligible Ohioans are currently fully immunized. Doctors say more than 40% of tests currently administered at new mass testing sites come back positive.
The Omicron variant is a challenge for doctors because it is highly contagious and even fully vaccinated Ohioans get it. But doctors are optimistic that people vaccinated and infected with the virus will have more immunity to fight it in the future, making it more difficult for the disease to continue at that level.
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