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Central Ohio Nurses Urge People To Get Vaccinated

A nurse pulls a ventilator into an exam room where a patient with COVID-19 went into cardiac arrest at St. Joseph's Hospital in Yonkers, N.Y on April 20, 2020.
John Minchillo

Exhausted front-line nurses and doctors spoke alongside the Columbus Public Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts and others at a joint news conference Tuesday morning urging people to get vaccinated.

A major spike in Coronavirus cases throughout the state has nurses, doctors and other health officials very worried. They say we are headed into another deadly COVID winter, and if more Ohioans don't get vaccinated, the highly infectious omicron variant could lead to even more infections and hospitalizations, breaking last winter's records.

Dr. Mysheika Roberts said Franklin County’s positivity rate has gone from 8.6% to 11.4% in a month, and hospitalizations have climbed more than 2% in less than a week.

Jennifer Hollis, a critical care nurse at OhioHealth Riverside said, "It's breaking my heart. It's breaking my heart every day going into work and continuing to see people die. When I know that it can be prevented. I could stand here and tell you the data all day long. But I want you to hear my story and hear how this weighs on my shoulders every day."

The Ohio Health Department reports around 6.37 million Ohioans or 55 percent of the state's population are fully vaccinated against COVID.

Williams was a reporter for WOSU. Natasha is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and has more than 20 years of television news and radio experience.