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The clinic has reported the most COVID-19 cases since last winter and predicts that the worst will not come yet

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Cleveland, Ohio — The Cleveland Clinic has the highest number of COVID-19 patients since last winter, with longer waiting times in the clinic’s emergency department and fewer unnecessary surgery.

Things are expected to get worse. Clinic estimates predict that the maximum number of COVID-19 patients will come in the coming weeks, as this current pandemic wave peaks in northern Ohio. The hospital system said in a statement on Monday.

Approximately 460 patients are in the clinic’s Ohio Hospital, including 135 in the intensive care unit. This is more than double the number of patients admitted to COVID-19 at the clinic a month ago. According to the hospital system, the majority of these patients are unvaccinated.

Throughout the state, unvaccinated people account for nearly 94% of recent coronavirus hospitalizations, according to data from the Ohio Department of Health.

“We urge the community to be vaccinated with COVID-19, as it remains the best preventative measure against serious illness and death from COVID-19,” said the clinic.

According to the statement, patients are being transferred to various facilities in the healthcare system to meet the growing demand for medical and staffing challenges.

Some places-including Cleveland Clinic Akron General, Cleveland Clinic Mercy Hospital in Canton and Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital in Dover are reducing the number of unnecessary surgery appointments that require hospitalization.

Essential and urgent inpatient surgery, including heart, cancer, pediatrics, transplantation, and neurological cases, will continue on schedule, the clinic said.

Clinics are not the only ones facing staffing challenges. Akron’s Summa Health has reduced inpatient beds by more than 20% and temporarily suspended some elective surgery due to a nationwide staff shortage exacerbated by the pandemic. Akron Beacon Journal reported today.

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