CLEVELAND, Ohio — Ohio is seven to 14 days behind New York City in the curve of coronavirus cases, Dr. Amy Acton said Tuesday.
The director of the Ohio Department of Health said in the daily statehouse news briefing that cases in Ohio are still climbing the “steep slope” of the pandemic curve. The state is up to 564 cases, with eight deaths.
If Ohioans were not following Gov. Mike DeWine’s stay-at-home order, there could be up to 6,000 new cases a day, Acton said. “That’s why every move you’re doing is making all the difference.”
New York state has over 25,000 cases of the virus, nearly 7 percent of the global total, according to the New York Times. The case count is doubling every three days, with the peak expected in two to three weeks.
“We haven’t flattened the curve. And the curve is actually increasing,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday. “The apex is higher than we thought and the apex is sooner than we thought. That is a bad combination of facts.”
Hospitals in Ohio are at 60 percent capacity, Acton said. But beds in the intensive care units are key.
Ohio currently has about 3,600 ICU beds, she said. About 11 percent of coronavirus cases need ICU care.
Ohio is working to convert anesthesia machines into ventilators, to treat coronavirus patients, and considering other buildings to transform into makeshift hospitals. Researchers are trying to find ways to reuse protective masks for doctors and nurses.
“We will need to build extra capacity,” Acton said. “I’m very interested in using existing structures… We stand ready to use all options.”
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