Mayor John Cranley told media today that the Greater Cincinnati area needs to triple its capacity to treat those in hospitals ahead of an expected surge of cases of COVID-19 caused by the pandemic novel coronavirus.
One option to help fulfill that daunting task could be repurposing one of the area's largest meeting spaces to treat less critical patients not suffering from COVID-19.
"If you have been listening to (Ohio Department of Health Director) Dr. Amy Acton for the past couple days, you understand Ohio is expecting a surge in the next few weeks," Cranley said. "I have spoken to our area hospital CEOs and they are working hard to coordinate capacity in our region."
Cincinnati Health Commissioner Melba Moore today said that Cincinnati had confirmed three new cases of COVID-19, bringing its total number of confirmed cases up to 28. Just a week ago, the city had zero confirmed cases.
Earlier this month, leadership from five area hospitals discussed their preparations for an expected coming surge of COVID-19 cases. Collectively, hospitals have roughly 1,000 extra beds currently — likely not enough to stem the coming tide of cases.
Yesterday, Acton said at its peak, the crisis could mean 6,000-8,000 new cases of COVID-19 a day throughout Ohio.