I am reaching out with a prompt update on our status at Magruder Hospital during this current phase of the COVID pandemic. We have certainly seen an increase in COVID patients seeking treatment as both inpatients and outpatients.
In order to streamline care, use of personal protective equipment and to protect non-COVID patients, we have dedicated a space in our hospital to a COVID-19 specific unit. This unit is separated from the general medicine floor by doors and barriers and utilizes changes in airflow to further protect patients and staff outside the unit.
We are working well with the other regional hospitals when we need to transfer patients in or out, especially our friends in the North Coast Healthcare Collaborative (Firelands, Fisher Titus, Bellevue and Magruder). Even though hospital volumes are up all over our region and state, we have been able to accommodate all the patients in and around our community and are not currently overwhelmed because of these strong area hospital relationships.
The facts are that cases, positivity rates, hospitalizations and Intensive Care admissions are rising at a dramatic pace. Overall, hospitalizations in Ohio are up 660% in the past two months and ICU admissions are up over 500% during the same timeframe. At Magruder, our testing volume is up over 250% from early summer, and our testing shows over a 23% positivity rate over the past 10 days.
Our COVID-triage line phone calls have increased over 400% in the past five weeks. We are seeing outside lab test turnaround times swell due to an increased demand.
We have restricted visitation again, and are working to be judicious and understanding with our policies. We know how difficult it is to have a loved one hospitalized and not be there with them for support. However, with the current spread in our community, we need to protect our staff and limit chances of contact with unknown or asymptomatic carriers. Our hospital is clean, sanitized and safe. We have had very few staff infected with COVID over the past eight months. We are proud of our vigilance, attention to detail, and our great environmental services staff.
As community and business leaders, we want to say thank you for taking the pandemic seriously. Thank you for your focus on masking, hand-washing, and distancing while at or away from work. Thank you for supporting Magruder Hospital, and our mission of “Improving Lives Together.”
We are thanking our staff, too, for protecting our patients, community and each other. Magruder has safely worked through the first phases of this pandemic in a remarkable way, thanks to our staff’s extraordinary efforts and resiliency to adapt to the many changes over the past 8 months.
Our work is necessary, worthwhile and essential to the health of this community. We have a great responsibility during these unprecedented times, and are meeting the challenge every day. This pandemic is grueling. I’m sure many of you are feeling anxious, frustrated, nervous and exhausted. So are we. We’re all in this together, and will get through it together.
Keep pushing forward. Stay strong, stay focused, and stay positive!
Keep up the good work. Be the good influence, set the right example, and continue to be leaders in our community! Wear your mask…wash your hands…keep your distance.
President & CEO of Magruder Hospital