The number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise and the nation begins to look into the new variant of Omicron, the region’s hospitals struggling with an increase in patient numbers and a decrease in available beds.
More: Hospital room data for district hospitals
The seven-day average percentage of adult inpatient beds occupied was 72.9% for the week of Nov. 19, which is not the highest percentage of beds used at UH Portage Medical Center during the pandemic. However, the average number of beds used – 99.9 out of 137 available – is the highest since July 2020, according to HHS data.
Almost 12 of the hospital’s 16 intensive care beds are occupied.
“Health systems across the country are experiencing spikes due to increased COVID-19 hospitalization and non-COVID-19 demand,” University Hospital officials wrote in an email statement in response to the Record-Courier’s request. “Our region is not exempt from this. The university clinics use the strength of our 23 hospital system and can meet the health needs of our patients. “
In the week of November 19, an average of 11.9 of the 16 intensive care beds at UH Portage Medical Center were occupied.
UH Cleveland Medical Center has an ICU bed capacity of 95.5%, while Akron’s Summa Health System is 93%.
Meanwhile, Portage County’s COVID-19 cases rose in November, according to Portage County’s Health District. The number of new cases increased by 12% in the week of November 2nd, by 29% in the week of November 9, and by 20% in the week of November 16.
The health department’s data also shows that COVID cases in children aged 0-17 years continue to increase. On November 22, the seven-day average for cases in children in this age group was five per day.
Portage County’s Health District, UH, and health officials at all levels have said vaccination has remained the most potent tool in mitigating the pandemic for months.
“The surge in seriously ill patients admitted to our hospitals for COVID-19 is made up of almost all unvaccinated patients,” UH said in the statement sent via email. “We continue to provide information about the safety effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines and encourage our patients to get vaccinated.”
Currently, approximately 58% of Portage County’s residents have received at least one vaccination. 86 percent of all residents of the district between the ages of 75 and 84 have at least one vaccination, which makes it the most frequently vaccinated age group in the district. Children ages 5-19 are the lowest at 16% and children ages 10-11 are 18%, but children in these age groups haven’t been eligible for the vaccine until November 2nd. The next lowest age group vaccinated are adults aged 18 years -20, at 34%
Do you have a business or health story that you want to share? Reporter Bob Gaetjens can be reached at 330-541-9440, [email protected] and @bobgaetjens_rc.