COLUMBUS, Ohio — Governor Mike DeWine last week provided an update on the increased impact that COVID-19 hospitalizations are having on our hospitals and a new vaccine incentive effort to help keep our children in school, in-person, five days a week.
Letter From Ohio Hospital Association
“I received a letter from the Ohio Hospital Association outlining the dire conditions facing our hospitals who are on the front lines of treating patients with COVID. While they are doing everything they can to help these patients, they are facing a severe nursing and staffing shortage,” Gov. DeWine said. “What they wrote is consistent with what we’ve been hearing from front-line health care workers.”
The letter reported that increasing cases are putting a strain on hospital resources. The data shows:
In mid-July, Ohio hospitals were treating 200 COVID-19 patients, and as of Thursday, Sept. 23, that number is 3,702. That’s a 16-fold increase in two months.
In mid-July, one out of 100 patients in the hospital were being treated for COVID. Today the ratio is one out of six. As of Sept. 23, 40 percent of patients on ventilators are being treated for COVID.
In rural Southeast Ohio, half of hospitalized patients are being treated for COVID-19 and two-thirds of the patients in the intensive care unit are being treated for COVID.
The letter described a situation where strained resources impact the ability to care for all patients. Some Ohio hospitals are diverting patients away from emergency departments, cancelling certain procedures, experiencing long wait times in emergency departments, and shutting down certain units to redeploy staff to critical cases.
Gov. DeWine emphasized that keeping kids in school, in-person, five days a week, remains a priority. We know that the best way to do that is to get students vaccinated. In addition to protecting kids from the severe effects of the virus, students who are vaccinated, do not have to quarantine if exposed, which means they won’t miss out on school.
To encourage eligible kids to get vaccinated, Gov. DeWine announced the Ohio Vax-2-School program, which will be open to Ohioans aged 12 to 25 years old, and will be similar to the scholarship portion of the successful Vax-a-Million program.
Prizes will include 50 scholarships worth $10,000 each and five $100,000 scholarships to an Ohio college or university for career or technical education. Prizes will be announced Monday through Friday beginning the week of Oct. 11. More details will be announced, including how to register, in the coming days.
Gov. DeWine also made a public plea, after hearing from school districts across the state about the shortage of bus drivers. He asked any Ohioan with a CDL license that also has a bus driver certification, who are not employed, to contact their local school district, to help drive school busses, temporarily.
He also spoke with Attorney General Dave Yost who agreed that, moving forward, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation would prioritize required background checks for school bus drivers, educators, nurses, and other health care professionals.
Preble County Data
Data from Preble County Public Health on Monday, Sept. 27, shows a further decline in COVID-19 cases this week.
Compared to last week, the seven-day moving average showed 200 new cases and an average of 489.21 (-34.25) cases per 100,000 residents, a decrease of 6.54 percent.
As of Monday, Sept. 27, Preble County has 569 active cases, down from 580 last week.
As of Thursday, Sept. 23, National Trail reported one new student case, and six new cases (four students, two staff members) were reported at Twin Valley Community Schools. Cases were not reported at Eaton, Preble Shawnee, Tri-County North or the Preble County Educational Service Center.
As of Monday, Sept. 27, the overall case count breaks down to 777 (+42) cases in the 0-19 range, 706 (+25) cases in 20-29, 701 (+25) cases in 30-39, 785 (+36) cases in 40-49, 778 (+35) cases in 50-59, 651 (+13) cases in 60-69, 458 (+9) cases in 70-79, and 275 (+8) cases for those 80 and up.
Overall, there have been 111 (+1) COVID-19 deaths in Preble County and 5,131 (+193) total cases since the pandemic began. Additionally, 345 (+2) county residents have been hospitalized due to COVID-19.
Among COVID-19 deaths in Preble County, one was in the 40-49 age range, four were in the 50-59 range, 19 were in the 60-69 range, 44 were in the 70-79 range, and 43 were in the 80 and up range.
All Ohio counties are now classified as having a “high” level of community transmission, according to the CDC.
As of Sept. 27, 16,363 (+142) county residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, or 40 percent of the county’s population.
For information about the COVID-19 vaccine or to schedule a vaccination appointment, visit https://www.preblecountyhealth.org.