Hospital officials concerned about COVID-19 increase

Staff Report

GALION — Top officials from hospital systems that serve Crawford, Marion, Richland, and Ashland counties issued an open letter this week to residents expressing concern about the rising rate of COVID-19 cases.

According to the latest statistics from the Galion City Health Department, there are 71 active cases of COVID-19 in the city. Two people are currently hospitalized for treatment of the virus. The health department released its new numbers on Sept. 9.

Crawford County Public Health reported Sept. 8 that there are 224 active cases of COVID-19 in its jurisdiction, which includes all of Crawford County outside of Galion city limits. Six of the people listed as active cases are hospitalized receiving treatment. The average age of people in the active case group is 36 years old.

In the letter, the healthcare officials ask residents to help curb the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases across the region.

”With the latest surge in COVID-19 cases, our hospitals, emergency departments, and urgent cares are seeing record numbers of patients,” the letter states. “Many of the patients requiring hospitalization are experiencing a higher degree of illness than we have seen in the past. We are concerned with what the coming weeks will bring. What we are experiencing is very real. It isn’t a political issue; it’s a medical issue. When we look at our patient data, a vast majority of hospitalized COVID-19 patients have not received the COVID-19 vaccine.

“COVID-19 does not discriminate. It impacts all ages, races, and sexes. The virus will spread — even to those who are healthy, but we do have ways to reduce exposure to COVID-19 as well as brace against a full-blown infection. That is by masking and, if you are 12 and older, becoming vaccinated. We need your help to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

Also in the letter, the health officials issued a plea for people to wear masks and become vaccinated.

“At times, we are all asked to put others before ourselves. During the pandemic, our call is no different. Using our knowledge of medical science and the human nature to help others, we ask that you act soon,” the letter states. “Help us change the trajectory of COVID-19 for our communities by protecting yourself and your loved ones. By masking and becoming fully vaccinated, we will be able to drastically slow down the rate of spread and ultimately, COVID-19’s potential exposure to you.

“Our communities have experienced much loss due to COVID-19. As our teams console families of patients who have passed, some family members mentioned that they never expected COVID-19 could create such heartache and loss. Sadly, this loss is what it has taken for some family members to become vaccinated themselves.”

The following hospital system presidents and CEOs signed the letter that was released to local media outlets on Wednesday: Jerome Morasko, president/CEO, Avita Health System; Curt Gingrich, president, OhioHealth Marion General Hospital; Vinson Yates, president, Mansfield Hospital and Shelby Hospital; Peggy Anderson, CEO, Third Street Family Health Services; Todd Harford, president, Samaritan Medical Center University Hospitals; Donald A. Malone, Jr., president, Ohio Hospitals and Family Health Centers Cleveland Clinic; Tim Robinson, CEO, Nationwide Children’s Hospital; and Grace Wakulchik, CEO, Akron Children’s Hospital.

Staff Report

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