As Hamilton County heads into the holiday season, county officials are sounding the alarm on concerns of rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
Commission President Denise Driehaus said the week-over-week increase in new infections is over 4,000. Last week the county reported an increase of 2,000.
"I almost feel like I should drop the mic right now and not say anything else,” Driehaus said. “That is such a dramatic increase from weeks past. It’s like a mic drop moment. It’s astounding. It’s super concerning.”
The county’s seven day average shows nearly 400 people are being infected every day. Christa Hyson is with The Health Collaborative. She said the county has seen a steep increase in hospitalizations and that hospitals are quickly reaching capacity to be able to care for anyone regardless of their condition.
“Heart attacks don’t stop,” Hyson said. “Strokes don’t stop, and accidents will still happen.”
Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman said hospitalizations have skyrocketed with over 450 patients in the hospital system.
“The time to act has to be now,” Kesterman said. “We have to make change and start improving things here in our county before our systems become so overwhelmed that we won’t be able to get the necessary care.”
Kesterman also said there are close to 90 people in the ICU within the hospitals. He suggests people who have been exposed to COVID-19 not to take part in Thanksgiving celebrations.
“Each family is going to have to make their own decisions based on risk,” Kesterman said. “Any activity that allows for circles to be mixed or groups of people to be mixed increases your risk that you’re willing to take.”
As of Wednesday, Hamilton County has 22,103 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 1,392 hospitalizations and 353 deaths.