COVID from a Community Hospital Perspective

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Put-in-Bay Daily™ presents this letter to the public from Nick Marsico, RPh Magruder Hospital, President & CEO, in a continuing effort to keep our communities safe and healthy.

My name is Nick Marsico.  I’m a pharmacist by training, but that does not make me an expert in COVID or infectious disease. It does provide me with a background when evaluating medical and scientific information, which helps me sift through the information and misinformation that’s out for everyone to consume. I’m writing this to tell a factual story regarding how COVID is currently affecting our local health and wellness and economies in the communities we serve. There are links attached for anyone interested in seeing where the information is coming from for anything that is not directly related to Magruder Hospital.

• The potential to spread the disease is extremely high right now. According to the Ohio Department
of Health, the incidence of COVID in Ottawa County over the previous 14 days is 508 per 100,0001,
which is over 10 times greater than when we “reopened” in June 20212.

• In June, July, and August 2021 we had more patients at Magruder Hospital get admitted and
discharged than any 3 months since summer of 2014.

• Over the past three weeks, almost every area hospital from Lorain to West Toledo has experienced
maximum capacity at some point, meaning they were unable to accept patients for admission or
transfer and may have even turned EMS away. We have had tremendous difficulty in finding beds
for our sickest patients, and we are being asked to take sick patients from outside of our area on a
regular basis.

Capacity for this point is defined as “staffed beds”. Anyone can make an argument that a
hospital listed as a 100-bed hospital should have 100 beds available. The reality is that in
our current environment, with workforce shortages and staff illnesses, most hospitals
cannot staff to full listed capacity. Hospitals define capacity based on how many patients
they can safely and effectively care for, not by listed beds.

• Seventy-seven percent of COVID Positive hospitalized patients at Magruder Hospital over the last
month have been unvaccinated. At Firelands in Sandusky that number is around 79%, and at Fisher
Titus in Norwalk that number is 92%.

• At Magruder, unvaccinated COVID positive patients have a significantly longer hospital stay (over 4
days longer) because they require much more care.

• Last week the Kaiser Family Foundation published a study that stated in June, July and August 2021
the U.S. had over 287,000 hospitalizations of unvaccinated COVID patients. It is assumed most of
those admissions could have been prevented with vaccinations, masking, social-distancing and
hygiene. Those hospitalizations are estimated to cost the overall health-care system $5.7 billion3.
This extra cost could eventually lead to higher premiums for all health care plans and higher costs of
services, which will most likely affect each person in this community. Vaccines are free now,
distancing is free, hand hygiene and masks are inexpensive.

• In the beginning of this pandemic, most private insurance plans waived the out-of-pocket fees for
patients who needed treatment because of COVID infections. Right now in Ohio the majority of
insurance providers are no longer waiving those fees, meaning that each patient will be responsible
to pay for a portion of their treatment. I guarantee that paying for a percentage of your hospital
stay for COVID treatment will be more expensive than getting a free vaccine or wearing an
inexpensive mask.
As a local non-profit and independent hospital, we run a small private business similar to every other small business owner in our area. We urge other local businesses to encourage and promote COVID vaccines and universal masking just as strongly as we do, to prevent having catastrophic losses of productivity with employees out sick. The cost associated with lost work, due to preventable illness, is not a cost that many can afford. At the end of the day, the longer this pandemic carries on, the more stress it adds to everyone’s daily life.

We should all be looking for ways to prevent unnecessary sickness, because it leads to tremendous
unnecessary burden that is felt deeply throughout our community. As the old saying goes, “An ounce of
prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Magruder Hospital is proud to be your essential healthcare provider and serve the communities in Ottawa County. We are here to support you, and work with you towards our mission of Improving Lives Together.

https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/docs/statewide-and-county-case-rates.pdf

https://www.ahip.org/health-insurance-providers-respond-to-coronavirus-covid-19/

https://governor.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/governor/media/news-and-media/ohio-reports-fewer-than-50-covid19-cases-per-100000-residents-06052021

Most private insurers are no longer waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment

Unvaccinated COVID patients cost the U.S. health system billions of dollars

 


Kaptur Applauds $3.5 Million Award for Erie, Ottawa County Airports

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) released the following statement after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced a series of grants totaling $3,541,777 for the Kelleys Island LandField Airport, the Put-in-Bay Airport, and the Middle Bass Island Airport. The grants are made available to regional airports due to the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act, supported by Rep. Put in Bay airport 3W2Kaptur, and signed by President Biden on March 11, 2021.

“Our regional airports play a vital role in supporting the local economy and connecting our communities,” said Rep. Kaptur. “I am excited to see the American Rescue Plan living up to its promise, and delivering the resources Northern Ohio needs.”

The FAA grants announced today include:

$147,381 for the Put-in-Bay Airport to reconstruct a terminal building.

$2,888,618 for the Middle Bass Island Airport to rehabilitate an apron, runway, and taxiway.

$359,605 for the Kelleys Island Land Field Airport to conduct an environmental assessment.

$146,173 for the Kelleys Island Land Field Airport to rehabilitate a runway and reconstruct lighting.

More information on the awards can be found here.


Ottawa County Monitors COVID-19 Delta Variant

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated its interim public health recommendations for limiting the spread of COVID-19 in response to the Delta variant, which is driving an increase in cases across the U.S. In its updated guidance, the CDC recommended that everyone, including fully vaccinated people, wear masks in indoor public settings in communities with substantial or high transmission.

The Ottawa County Health Department, Port Clinton, Ohio, is continuing to monitor the new cases and trends of COVID-19 within Ottawa County. During the month of June, Ottawa County was averaging less than a case per day. This trend continued into the first half of July, as we averaged less than a case per week. In the last 14 days, Ottawa County has averaged almost three new cases per day. While this may not seem like a significant increase to some, it is a trend that we are monitoring very closely as we head into the coming weeks.

Due to the smaller population size of Ottawa County, this increase in cases over the last two weeks currently categorizes us as having substantial transmission in our community.

Visit the CDC tracker at https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#datatracker-home to see the most up to date data at the county level in the United States.

In most cases, those who are vaccinated are protected from serious disease and hospitalization, so we continue to urge anyone who can do so to get vaccinated. Getting vaccinated is still the best way to protect yourself against COVID. Adding a mask indoors will help to further protect those in our community who can’t yet get the vaccine, including children under 12 and people with health conditions.

The only way we will defeat this pandemic is by working together. By applying the many tools we have – getting vaccinated, masking, distancing and limiting indoor gatherings – we can limit the spread of COVID in Ottawa County. Everyone has a part to play. By checking our website at ottawahealth.org, as well as our social media, you can stay informed and up to date with the latest information on ways you can protect yourselves and each other form COVID-19.

This aligns with our mission to help the citizens of Ottawa County to live healthier, happier, and longer lives.


Ottawa County Updates COVID-19 Vaccine Schedule

Ottawa County is set to receive over 1,200 doses of COVID-19 vaccines through next week which is meant for the Ottawa County residents.  Both the Ottawa County Health Department and Magruder Hospital have been working diligently together to vaccinate the oldest populations first and work our way down to vaccinate all that are eligible in accordance to phase 1B, as directed by Governor DeWine.  While Ottawa County leads the state of Ohio in percentage of its population vaccinated at 18.49%, we are aware that we still have a long way to go.  Our plan is to finish vaccinating those that are registered and eligible under phase 1B in the next couple of weeks and start vaccinating those that qualify under phase 1C and phase 2 shortly after.  If you have registered through the health department to receive a vaccine and have not been contacted by either Magruder Hospital or the Ottawa County Health Department, please contact the health department at 419-734-6800 and select Option 2, or Magruder Hospital at 419-301-4304 to schedule an appointment.  If you are unsure if you qualify for the COVID-19 vaccine in the next phase, please see the eligibility criteria below.

Beginning today, the Ottawa County Health Department and Magruder Hospital are happy to announce that we will be moving to a new way to schedule your vaccine appointment.  This new system will allow you to schedule your own appointment at one of our future clinics, which will be announced as we receive vaccine. This link will be made available starting later today and can be found at ottawahealth.org.

We are also in the process of finalizing our plans for vaccine distribution to homebound individuals. If you are homebound or know someone who is homebound in Ottawa County, please contact the health department at 419-734-6800 –select Option 1.

PHASE 1C AND PHASE 2 VACCINATION ELIGIBILITY

Phase 1C: Medical Groups

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Pregnant women
  • Bone marrow transplant recipients
  • ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)

Phase 1C: Occupations

Childcare Services

Administrators, lead and assistant teachers, and substitutes who are enrolled in Ohio’s Professional Registry who are currently working in open childcare and pre-kindergarten programs.

  • Licensing specialists employed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services or county job and family services agencies.

This phase does not include parent volunteers, board members, or owners/administrators that do not provide in-classroom supports.

Funeral Services

  • Embalmers/morticians, funeral home directors, crematory operators, and apprentices.

Law Enforcement and Corrections Officers

Phase 2: 60 years and older

We appreciate the patience of our community as we work hard to serve and protect you during this pandemic.


Ottawa County Health Department Updates Vaccine Distribution

Ottawa County Health Department Update on Phase 1B Vaccine Distribution

PORT CLINTON – In order to assist in the vaccine distribution process, the Ottawa County Health Department has created a pre-registration form to collect information from residents who would be interested in receiving the Covid-19 vaccine. This information will be used to help local partners to plan for vaccine distribution as it becomes available in each phase.

Once Ottawa County begins each vaccination phase, the Ottawa County Health Department will notify individuals qualifying for that phase via the phone number and/or email address provided. Please double check your contact information as it is vitally important to ensure we can reach you when ready. The form can be found at ottawahealth.org. For those individuals who have a disability, no access to technology or are experiencing technical issues in completing this form, they can contact the United Way 2-1-1 line for assistance.

Each individual being vaccinated needs to complete a separate form, as some individuals within a family may be eligible for vaccination at different times.

Next Anticipated Phase: 1B
-Ohioans, age 65 and older
-Younger people with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders that make them particularly vulnerable –  such as cerebral palsy; spina bifida; congenital heart disease; type 1 diabetes; inherited metabolic disorders; severe neurologic disorders including epilepsy; severe genetic disorders including Down Syndrome, Fragile X, Prader Willi Syndrome, Turner Syndrome; severe lung disease including cystic fibrosis and severe asthma; sickle cell anemia; and alpha- and beta-thalassemia.
-Adults/employees who work in schools (K-12)

On January 7th, Governor Mike DeWine announced the following schedule for Phase 1B vaccine distribution.
-Week of January 18th – Ohioans 80+ years of age
-Week of January 25th – Ohioans 75+ years of age and individuals with severe congenital, development, or early onset medical disorders
-Week of February 1st – Ohioans 70+ years of age and Adults/employees who work in schools (K-12)
-Week of February 8th – Ohioans 65+ years of age

All vaccine distribution is subject to availability of doses distributed to the Ottawa County Health Department.