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Doctors Say Increase In COVID-19 Cases Is Causing Stress In Ohio's Hospitals

Ohio’s COVID-19 numbers have been increasing steadily during the past couple of weeks. Now, doctors are warning if this pace increases any more, it would affect patient care for everyone. 

Dr. Richard Lofgren, president and CEO of University of Cincinnati Health System says staff at his medical facility and others throughout the state are stressed due to an increase in patients being hospitalized. And he says if the situation worsens, it will affect patient care. 

“And it would result in us needing to think about deferring non-COVID care which we recognize has had and would have adverse effect," Lofgren says.

It's not just staff that is stretched to the limit because of increased care for COVID-19 patients. Ronda Lehman, president of Mercy Health System in Lima, says the influx of COVID patients in hospitals in rural areas has required those facilities to reorganize a bit.

“I have heard a lot of people have been converting spaces, just as we have, along these previous months to make more spaces appropriate for COVID patients," Lehman says.

Some of the patients have been referred to larger medical centers at times to help relieve stress on local hospitals.

Doctors say congregating with family and friends, without masks and social distancing, is causing the virus to spread so quickly and among so many Ohioans. And health authorities are bracing for the situation to worsen in the holiday season. 

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Dr. Richard Lofgren, UC Medical Center
Jo Ingles /
Dr. Richard Lofgren, UC Medical Center

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.