If the number of doctors and nurses available keeps going down, Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center distances itself from universal testing for COVID-19.
“That’s a step that many health systems have taken in response to the… high volume they seesaid OSU Director of Emergency Preparedness Dr. Daniel Bachmann during a press conference Thursday.
Patients coming to the emergency room will be assessed on a case-by-case basis to see if a COVID-19 test is needed based on factors such as whether the patient has symptoms or pre-existing conditions that could make contracting the coronavirus fatal .
Testing every patient “adds to some of the inefficiency” that hospitals like OSU try to minimize as cases increase even among their own staff.
“We also use our staff in creative ways to provide more capacity,” said Bachmann.
It’s a practice that the Ohio Hospital Association has also heard about.
“I think hospitals are all about making those changes,” said OHA spokesman John Palmer. “I don’t know if every hospital does that.”
Ohio reported more than 20,000 new cases Wednesday, and the state recently passed 100,000 hospitalizations since the start of the pandemic.
“The omicron variant continues to sweep through Ohio, fueling what is nothing short of a tidal wave,” said Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, director of the Ohio Department of Health during the press conference.
Hospitals in the state of Buckeye have called for help due to staff shortages. Government Mike DeWine the National Guard deployed the past weeks. And President Joe Biden announced the commitment of: 20 US Air Force Doctors Thursday at the Cleveland Clinic.
“What we’re seeing in the president’s action is a clear confirmation that Ohio has been at the forefront of this wave,” Vanderhoff said.
Cleveland Clinic was the first hospital in Ohio to be approved for federal aid, but more troops could be deployed in the coming weeks.
“There are other hospitals we’ve worked with,” he said. “I don’t know the status of those application procedures as we have it now.”
Anna Staver is a reporter at the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau. It serves the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal, and 18 other affiliate news organizations throughout Ohio.