CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The leaders of three Northeast Ohio hospital systems held a briefing on Monday morning addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health care workers and services.
A virtual press conference was held with MetroHealth System President and CEO Akram Boutros, University Hospitals President Cliff Megerian, and Cleveland Clinic President and CEO Tom Mihaljevic.
“In order to do this, we need everyone to do the right thing,” Dr. Mihaljevic said, referring to the health safety measures introduced to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
The remarks from the area’s top health officials came as Ohio continues to set record-high spikes in cases and hospitalizations from the coronavirus on a near-daily basis.
Dr. Boutros, Dr. Mihaljevic, and Dr. Megerian provided an update on the hospital capacity, as of Monday morning:
- Cleveland Clinic: About 450 beds, or approximately 8% to 9%, of the hospital system’s capacity are occupied by COVID-19 patients.
- MetroHealth System: Approximately 80% of the hospital network’s capacity are occupied.
- University Hospitals: Just over 200 hospital beds, or approximately 9%, are in use; the system is currently at about 83% full.
According to Dr. Megerian, hospitalizations could quadruple in rate by Christmas if the current pace continues.
Dr. Mihaljevic said a large-scale emergency shutdown and disruptions could likely be avoided if individuals simply wore face masks, sanitized regularly, and avoided informal gatherings or socially-distanced in certain scenarios.
“Our contact tracing shows that we are not getting infected at work, but instead out living our daily lives,” Dr. Boutros suggested.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine echoed the thought regarding gatherings with friends and family on Monday.
All three officials expressed optimism about the news of several vaccine trials that are showing high rates of effectiveness.
“I am confident we will be immunizing people in early 2021,” Dr. Boutros added.
As of Monday morning, the Department of Health said 5,722 Ohioans have died from the coronavirus with at least 298,096 cases reported statewide since the start of the pandemic.