“This is Not a Drill.” Ohio Health Officials Say They Might Have to Start Canceling Procedures

Coronavirus cases in Ohio continue to snowball and now health officials say the strain is so great that any day now they might have to start canceling medical procedures.

Nov 20, 2020 at 12:05 pm

click to enlarge Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is seen at a coronavirus press conference at his Cedarville home on Tuesday, Oct. 20, days after a Miami County man reported to police being recruited for a citizen's arrest plot against the governor at his home. - Photo courtesy The Ohio Channel
Photo courtesy The Ohio Channel
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is seen at a coronavirus press conference at his Cedarville home on Tuesday, Oct. 20, days after a Miami County man reported to police being recruited for a citizen's arrest plot against the governor at his home.
Coronavirus cases in Ohio continue to snowball and now health officials say the strain is so great that any day now they might have to start canceling medical procedures.

They made that stark warning on a day when the state’s GOP lawmakers seemed to be living in another world, with House Republicans voting down a mask mandate in the Capitol and granting its approval to a Senate measure that would greatly reduce the governor’s power to impose orders in health emergencies such as the pandemic.

Incomplete data released Thursday showed that at 7,787, the number of new cases reported over the past 24 hours continues a weeklong trend of days in which new cases are near the state record of 8,071 that was reported last week.

More alarmingly, there were 343 new hospitalizations due to covid. That’s less than the record 386 reported nine days ago, but when patients are admitted to the hospital for coronavirus, they tend to stay for relatively long periods. So when there are extended stretches of days with high admissions, hospitals run out of beds.

They’re dangerously close to doing that now, officials said during Gov. Mike DeWine’s coronavirus press conference Thursday.

“We are on the doorstep of that,” said Bruce Vanderhoff, chief medical officer for the Ohio Department of Health. “I wish I had a crystal ball, and I could tell you it would be some defined period of time from now, but it’s not far away.”

So far, the situation isn’t at the point where it was in Italy in the spring when doctors had to decide whom to treat with limited resources or it is now in El Paso, Texas, where hundreds of bodies are piling up in mobile morgues.

This story was originally published by the Ohio Capital Journal and republished here with permission.