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Ohio Hospitals Concerned About Capacity, Staffing With Delta Surge

A sign describing COVID-19 symptoms is displayed in the lobby of a building on the campus of Grant Medical Center in downtown Columbus.
Karen Kasler

They say the loss of staff underscores the pandemic fatigue.

Hospital leaders from around Ohio say the sharp increase in COVID cases due to the Delta variant is causing concerns about available beds and personnel.

They say they're running out of available beds with a statewide, 10-fold increase in COVID patients in the last two months.

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, Ohio Department of Health director, noted during a press conference Friday that Ohio had 200 hospitalizations for COVID in early July. That number is now over 2,000 hospitalizations.

Beyond capacity issues, Dr. Robert Wyllie, chief medical operations officer at the Cleveland Clinic, says hospitals are also seeing a drop-off in staff.

"We all started losing staff as people started to wither a little bit under the tedium of a year and a half of infection and dealing with these very, very sick patients in the ICU and watching fatalities at a fairly rapid rate compared to our usual number of patients in the hospital," Wyllie says.

When asked if the state might recommend a new health order to address the pandemic, Vanderhoff said the state is keeping to the message of personal choice while urging people to wear masks and get vaccinated.

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