CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said the state may soon have to consider alternative options for housing coronavirus patients if hospitals become overwhelmed.
Dr. Acton said the state’s hospital system is at approximately 60% capacity, which is down after Ohio Gov. DeWine ordered that non-essential surgeries be stopped to conserve space and medical equipment.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Ohio Department of Health reported 564 cases of the coronavirus statewide, including eight deaths.
Both Dr. Acton and the Governor are expecting that number to increase with a future “surge” in cases.
“This is the tip of the iceberg,” Dr. Acton said on Tuesday.
DeWine and Dr. Acton suggested the possibility of re-purposing abandoned buildings, as well as vacant hotel rooms and unused college dorm housing, as an option to either relocate patients currently in hospital care or to treat individuals who test positive for coronavirus in the future.
Ohio and the rest of the country are also facing a shortage of personal protective equipment, or PPE.
The state’s supply of necessary masks, gloves, and other medical essentials have already been distributed to the areas that can use them the most.
Watch Tuesday’s remarks fro Gov. DeWine and Dr. Acton here: