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Greater Cincinnati hospitals, clinics and testing locations waiting for relief

The medical community feels impact of the latest COVID-19 surge
COVID test
Posted at 11:04 PM, Jan 04, 2022

CINCINNATI — Greater Cincinnati's medical community is feeling the impacts of the latest COVID-19 variant in the Tri-State.

The omicron variant comes at a time when patient load is high. The Health Collaborative that monitors hospital capacity in our region said Jan. 2 the intensive care unit is 101% full, meaning they will have to use outside beds to serve patients. The Health Collaborative also said 97% of inpatient beds are full.

As of Jan 4, the Ohio Hospital Association said one out of every four inpatients has COVID. One of every three patients in the ICU has COVID.

The Ohio National Guard said Tuesday it does expect to send troops to the Cincinnati area to ease the testing burden. However, a spokesperson said it will likely not happen before Friday. Lines at area drive-thru locations are so long, it could take hours to complete testing.

In Ft. Mitchell, people began lining up for the test an hour and a half before the location was set to open at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Urgent care and primary care clinics are filled with patients like Andre Dixon desperate for testing to return to work.

“I haven’t had a lot of luck with the drive-thrus," Dixon said. "They’ve typically been around the block waiting, and at least here, I can sit inside."

Dixon was waiting outside an urgent care in Hyde Park.

“I went to one place this morning. There was like 40 people and a very small line, so I was like screw it, I’m going to go to another place," Dixon said. "I got there, they don't accept insurance, and I didn't have $165 to take the test, and then I went to another place that didn't open until 10."

With the waiting room full, patients like Taylor Cook waited outside in the cold.

“I think I’m going to be here for a while,” Cook said. “My primary care was like three weeks out, so I came here.”

Cars wound around Gravity Diagnostics’ testing locations across Northern Kentucky Tuesday. Hospital leaders said their staff is also stuck in testing lines and quarantining at a time when patient load is high.

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