Over the past 18 months, Cleveland Clinic has cared for a significant volume of patients with COVID-19.
We all must stay vigilant against this virus. Our forecast models predict our highest volumes of COVID-19 patients will come in the next several weeks, as this wave peaks in northern Ohio.
We are now experiencing the highest volume of patients with COVID-19 since last winter, with approximately 460 patients, about 135 of those patients in the ICU, at our Ohio hospitals. This is more than double the number of patients that were hospitalized with COVID-19 one month ago. The majority of these patients are unvaccinated. We urge our community to receive their COVID-19 vaccination, as this continues to be the best protection against severe illness and death from COVID-19.
Healthcare is facing an increased demand for services, and like other hospitals across the country, our health system is also experiencing staffing challenges.
These factors have contributed to longer than expected wait times in our emergency departments, the need to closely manage capacity, and to move patients to different facilities within our health system. Some of our locations, including Cleveland Clinic Akron General, Cleveland Clinic Mercy Hospital and Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital are scheduling fewer nonessential surgeries that require an inpatient stay.
Despite these challenges, we remain committed to meeting the needs of the communities we serve. Essential and urgent inpatient surgeries — including heart, cancer, pediatrics, transplantation and neurological cases — will continue as scheduled.