More Ohio hospitals postpone surgeries as COVID cases rise


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Additional Ohio hospitals are announcing the postponement of elective surgeries as COVID-19 cases continue to fill up hospital beds in the state.

The decisions are in line with the crisis highlighted by Gov. Mike DeWine last week when he ordered more than 1,000 members of the Ohio National Guard into hospitals to help overwhelmed staff.

The Ohio State University medical center and the Columbus-based OhioHealth system both say they’re postponing new elective surgeries as the number of coronavirus cases spike. Ohio State’s policy, covering procedures that require an overnight stay, takes place Jan. 3 but doesn’t affect currently scheduled procedures.

Hospital systems in northeastern Ohio including the Cleveland Clinic announced similar postponements earlier this month. One word—“Help”—dominated a full-page ad in The Plain Dealer Monday in which six Cleveland-area health systems urged people to receive the vaccine.

State Health Director Bruce Vanderhoff said last week the delta variant is driving the increase in cases and the vast majority of people being hospitalized in Ohio aren’t vaccinated.