Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Ohio could see its first batch of coronavirus vaccines on December 15, Gov. Mike DeWine announced, bringing some welcome news as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations show no indications of slowing.

Hospital officials from around the state of Ohio are laying out a dire situation as COVID-19 cases continue to increase in record numbers. While preserving hospital space and equipment is a challenge, the doctors said there's a much more pressing concern at the moment.

Ohio State Wexner Medical Center
Ryan Hitchcock / WOSU

The number of people hospitalized in Ohio because of the coronavirus is growing rapidly and raising the possibility that elective procedures could be postponed, hospital officials and Gov. Mike DeWine warned on Monday.

The emergency room entrance to Grant Medical Center in downtown Columbus.
David Holm / WOSU

There are more than twice as many people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Ohio now as were a month ago. In some places, hospitals are trying to treat a flood of patients with fewer staff because their own employees have tested positive for the virus or are in quarantine.

Signs on the catwalk of the OhioHealth Grant Medical Center in Columbus on May 6, 2020.
David Holm / WOSU

Franklin County is the first county to reach a "purple" level on the state's color-coded COVID-19 warning map, and Gov. Mike DeWine says that's having an impact on local hospitals.

A health worker draws blood from a patient for a COVID-19 antibody test at the Volusia County Fairgrounds, Tuesday, May 5, 2020, in DeLand, Fla.

Health care professionals made a plea for help during Gov. Mike DeWine's coronavirus briefing Thursday, saying the surge of COVID-19 cases has them strapped for staff and space.

As COVID-19 cases rise dramatically across the Midwest, hospitals in Colorado and Nebraska are calling Kansas in desperate search of beds for new patients. But Kansas hospitals are asking them for the same.

November has brought on the strongest surge yet of the coronavirus across the region — and that’s before Thanksgiving gathers families together.

“The entire Midwest is on fire,” says Steven Stites, chief medical officer at the University of Kansas Health System.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine stopped in Cleveland late Wednesday morning, answering questions about the new curfew and reiterating that a "bridge" is needed before a coronavirus vaccine distribution begins next month.

On Tuesday, DeWine announced curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in Ohio starting Thursday night and running for three weeks.

Ohio State Wexner Medical Center on March 30, 2020.
David Holm / WOSU

Central Ohio's hospitals are once again banning most visitors due to increasing coronavirus cases in the area.

Ohio Health Department Ordered To Disclose Hospital Capacity Numbers

Nov 17, 2020
A ventilator helps a COVID-19 patient breath inside the Coronavirus Unit at United Memorial Medical Center, Monday, July 6, 2020, in Houston.
David J. Phillip / Associated Press

The Ohio Court of Claims ruled this month that the Department of Health must share public records with Eye On Ohio showing the number of beds and ventilators available for COVID-19 patients at individual hospitals throughout the state. 

Updated 4:20 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, 2020

As the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to climb in Ohio, Cleveland-area hospital leaders are concerned about the growing number of health care workers who are out sick with the coronavirus.  

According to hospital officials, about 800 Cleveland Clinic employees, 200 at University Hospitals, and 60 MetroHealth staffers are out, making it more difficult to care for the rising number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Cuyahoga County.  

Urgent care at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, on March 31, 2020.
David Holm / WOSU

Nationwide Children's Hospital will start admitting young adults if other Columbus-area hospitals reach capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Updated: 4:20 p.m., Friday, Nov. 13, 2020

As COVID-19 cases are soaring across Ohio and here in Cuyahoga County, Cleveland Clinic is postponing non-essential surgical procedures that require a hospital stay until Friday, Nov. 20 to free up beds and staffing for potential COVID-19 patients.

The health system initially paused surgeries for two days, but extended the postponement to a week on Friday, officials said. They will reevaluate surgical cases on an ongoing basis, a Clinic spokesperson said.

Like all hospitals in Ohio, Riverside Methodist Hopsital in Columbus has been told to cancel all non-essential and non-elective surgeries.
Ryan Hitchcock / WOSU

Hospital systems all across the state are experiencing a surge of COVID-19 patients, with over 2,700 patients hospitalized as of Tuesday.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine wears a mask before his coronavirus press conference on June 23, 2020.
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

For the last two weeks, Ohio has set new records for COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases. Health authorities are bracing for the situation to worsen as the holiday season nears.