Cleveland Covid-19 Spike: Real Bad, Getting Worse a Week Before Christmas

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click to enlarge University Hospitals has a record high number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients - Courtesy University Hospitals
Courtesy University Hospitals
University Hospitals has a record high number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients

The Ohio Department of Health this week announced that Cuyahoga County vaulted over the course of two weeks from No. 30 to No. 1 for the highest Covid rate in the state.

There are now 1,267 cases per 100,000 residents.

Anecdotal evidence backs up the surging Covid rate in Cleveland.

The Cleveland Clinic today announced it will further postpone non-urgent surgeries due to the rising caseload filling its beds. MetroHealth is doing the same as it's seeing record numbers of inpatient Covid cases, including in the ICU. University Hospitals said two weeks ago, before this latest spike, that it was already seeing the highest number of Covid patients of the whole pandemic. The vast majority of those are unvaccinated.

“This is the worst I’ve ever seen,” a respiratory care worker in the Clinic's ICU told Ideastream. “I don’t know if there’s a strong enough word for how sick of this we all are. Some families don’t believe it’s COVID, so it’s hard to get through to them."

“The number of patients that are healthy that get the vaccine, get COVID and on top of that end up here is very, very rare. They may get it but they don’t end up in the intensive care unit. The vaccine helps prevent you from ending in the ICU and ending in the ICU or ending in the hospital creates a series of changes in your body that don’t go away immediately,” Clinic ICU Director Eduardo Mireles told Fox 8. “This last wave was very well timed in related to Thanksgiving and so we saw several family members that got exposed. Families that lost several members at the same time.”

The wave that's been building since Thanksgiving portends an even worse December and holiday season.

In a Thursday media briefing on statewide numbers, Ohio's top health official Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff responded to a question about whether the state has weighed possible orders or mask mandates by saying: “More and more of us are going to inevitably encounter this virus. I think it just simply underlines how important it is for all of us to take the appropriate steps. Personal responsibility is a very important part of making any community, any society work really, really well. And the question that you’re asking really points to the issue of personal responsibility, and how do we take the steps that we can take to protect ourselves and each other.”

As of yesterday, 4,723 Ohioans were hospitalized with Covid with 1,164 of them in the ICU.

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