That's how the full-page ad in the Sunday Plain Dealer taken out by the Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth, University Hospitals, Summa Health, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and St. Vincent Charity Medical Center begins.
“We need your help. We now have more COVID-19 patients in our hospitals than ever before. And the overwhelming majority are unvaccinated. This is preventable," the plea continues.
Cuyahoga County has the highest rate of spread of any county in the state — and hospitals warned last week that despite lingering public sentiment that the Omicron variant produces milder outcomes, hospital beds are near capacity and staff are overwhelmed and the hospitals are postponing non-urgent surgeries to maintain the ability to treat the influx of Covid patients. In an effort to alleviate some of the staffing pressure, Gov. Mike DeWine last week ordered more than 1,000 Ohio National Guard members to provide assistance at hospitals across the state.
Health officials have said that the current wave will get worse, thanks to holiday gatherings and travel, along with Omicron's ability to quickly spread.
“We are learning this variant is more transmissible, and we are seeing evidence of this by the increased spread in our community,” the clinic said last week in a statement.
About 45% of Ohioans aren't fully vaccinated, and only 36% have gotten their booster, which experts have said is the only real defense against the Omicron variant.
"We need you to care as much as we do," the ad closes.
This story was originally published by CityBeat sister paper Cleveland Scene.
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