Northeast Ohio hospitals come together to make community plea about the importance of masks and social distancing

Updated: Jul. 23, 2020 at 11:00 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - First responders in Northeast Ohio are hoping a COVID-19 resurgence doesn’t overtake our local health system. On Thursday, all of the hospitals in Northeast Ohio came together to send a message to our community.

“We want to do everything we can to help prevent this from happening in Ohio,” said Dr. Joan Zoltanski with UH, leader of UH Healthy Restart. “We don’t want us to get into a situation like they find themselves in Florida right now.”

“There sometimes is some controversy around this because some of this has been made political, and the statement that the healthcare providers want to make together is: this is a health statement,” said Dr. Zoltanski. “This is medical information and these four practices are just medical ways that we have to prevent COVID.”

Those four practices are masking, social distancing, hand washing, and monitoring yourself for any symptoms.

“Even if you don’t feel sick, even if your friends are telling you that they don’t feel sick it’s still not safe to not be following the guidelines for COVID,” Dr. Zoltanski said. “That masking, the physical distancing are very important. It’s a way of taking care of the whole community so not just thinking about yourself but thinking about other people in the community that you may be spreading that may have the risk factors that you may not have.”

Dr. Zoltanski said with COVID cases on the rise in Northeast Ohio doing these things is critical to slowing the spread of this virus and making sure hospitals don’t run out of beds.

“Certainly, we’re concerned about it,” she said. “I mean, we certainly have the capacity right now and we’re able to take care of our patients and have enough ventilators to take care of patients but as we talk about adding flu season we worry about the two of them together creating a situation where we’ll have problems.”

In the last 10 days UH told us they had somewhere between 65 and 85 COVID patients at their hospitals.

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