The number of patients being treated for COVID-19 at Akron-area hospitals has dropped by nearly 59% in three weeks as the head of the Ohio Department of Health said there was a light at the end of the tunnel, but hospitals are still strained.
The Akron Beacon Journal has been tracking hospitalizations during the pandemic and the all-time high was three weeks ago on Jan. 6 with 399 patients at the four Akron-area hospital systems.
On Thursday, that number was 165 for the second consecutive day as hospitalization numbers for COVID patients have been steadily dropping.
At Summa Health's Akron City and Barberton hospitals, there were 58 patients, up from 57 on Wednesday. There were 82 at Cleveland Clinic Akron General, up from 81; 10 at Western Reserve Hospital, down from 13; and Akron Children's Hospital had 15, up from 14.
Thursday's number was the lowest since Nov. 15, 2021, when 158 patients were hospitalized with COVID in the Akron area.
In a press conference Thursday, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said there was still a strain on hospital systems. But hospital leaders said they're waiting for all COVID-19 metrics to drop down, not just hospitalizations. High daily counts of positive cases continue as the omicron variant has infected Ohioans who are unvaccinated as well as vaccinated and boosted.
Hospitalizations in northern Ohio have been coming down as hospitalizations in central Ohio stabilize and increases are being seen in southern Ohio.
Northeast Ohio and Akron still have help for strained healthcare workers. National Guard members are still stationed at Cleveland Clinic Akron General and Summa Health in Akron and FEMA recently announced that it was also sending workers to Summa. No further details have been made available.
U.S. Air Force doctors were also recently deployed by President Joe Biden to Cleveland Clinic's main campus in Cleveland.
Beacon Journal staff reporter Betty Lin-Fisher can be reached at 330-996-3724 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her @blinfisherABJ on Twitter or www.facebook.com/BettyLinFisherABJ To see her most recent stories and columns, go to www.tinyurl.com/bettylinfisher
This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Akron-area COVID hospitalizations down 59% from peak three weeks ago