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St. Vincent Charity Medical Center joins northeast Ohio hospitals urging Ohioans to remain vigilant as coronavirus cases rise

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Posted on November 16, 2020

St. Vincent Charity Medical Center joins northeast Ohio hospitals urging Ohioans to remain vigilant as coronavirus cases rise

St. Vincent Charity Medical Center president & CEO, Janice G. Murphy, MSN, FACHE, joins leaders of five Northeast Ohio hospital systems took out a full page ad in the Sunday Plain Dealer for a letter that implores Ohioans not to give in to “COVID fatigue” as coronavirus cases in Ohio continue to dramatically rise.

“Unfortunately we cannot wish the infection away,” the letter reads, in part. “COVID-19 is in our communities no matter where you live or who you are. It touches all of us in one way or another.”

Joining Murphy in the open letter are Dr. Akram Boutros of MetroHealth; Dr. Cliff Deveny of Summa Health; Dr. Cliff Megerian of University Hospitals; Jill K. Dietrich of VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare System and Dr. Tom Milhaljevic of the Cleveland Clinic.

As of Sunday morning, Ohio has seen more than 290,000 confirmed or probable coronavirus cases and more than 5,700 related deaths, according to the Ohio Department of Health. On Friday, the state saw its largest number of cases reported in a 24-hour period – 8,071.

 

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said last week that if the case spike in Ohio persists, he will seriously consider a second shutdown of bars, restaurants and gyms across the state. DeWine also re-issued a stricter version of his mask mandate for businesses.

While recent news of a highly effective vaccine on the horizon gives hope to many across the world, it’s unclear how long it will be until it is readily available to Ohio’s general public. The hospital heads urged Ohioans to take the necessary precautionary measures, like hand-washing and mask-wearing, as winter gets closer.

“As we approach the end of 2020, we are encouraging everyone to help decrease the risk for spreading infection, be it coronavirus or flu,” the letter says. “We must make sacrifices today – by limiting indoor gatherings – in the hope of better tomorrows.”

The doctors say they stand by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s pleas against complacency.

“If we continue to work together and stay strong, we will get through this. We will emerge stronger in the end.”

Read the full letter below:

DEAR NEIGHBORS,

The rise in coronavirus infections is a serious reminder of this pandemic’s strength and longevity. While many have expressed “COVID fatigue,” unfortunately we can’t wish away the infection.

We in healthcare have seen the faces of COVID-19 firsthand. Our doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and a host of other healthcare providers are on the front lines each day. They care for the sick and dying. They comfort family members who cannot physically be with their loved ones.

COVID-19 is in our communities no matter where you live or who you are. It touches all of us in one way or another.

What is most distressing as we move into fall and winter is that COVID-19 cases are going up throughout the United States, including Ohio. There have been more than 5,500 deaths in Ohio.

The numbers are staggering, but what is most concerning is that we are breaking records with increased numbers each day.

We have had more than 250,000 Ohioans infected with COVID-19, with more than 20,000 requiring hospitalization.

As we approach the end of 2020, we are encouraging everyone to help decrease the risk for spreading infection, be it coronavirus or flu. We must make sacrifices today – by limiting indoor gatherings – in the hope of better tomorrows.

But there is good news to share. Each of us can help control the virus by our own actions. We need to remain on guard and rely on each other to do the same.

  • Keeping physical distance
  • Staying home when sick
  • Wearing a mask
  • Getting immunized against the flu
  • Washing our hands

We don’t know exactly when a vaccine will be FDA-approved, recommended and widely available, so these are our strongest tactics to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Gov. Mike DeWine has encouraged all Ohioans not to get complacent. We stand with him in support of that advice. If we continue to work together and stay strong, we will get through this. We will emerge stronger in the end.

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