Ohio governor warns hospitals could be overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases in 'a few short weeks'

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWineMike DeWineTrump seeking to oust Republican Alabama governor over canceled rally: report Ohio governor cancels appearances after coronavirus exposure Ohio redistricting commission gives up on US House map MORE (R) warned on Wednesday that the state’s hospitals could be overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases in “just a few short weeks.”

As cases rise in every state in the nation, DeWine painted a stark picture in an address to residents, saying hospitals may not end up having enough staff to handle the coming winter. 

He said hospitals “are functioning right now … as if at the peak of the flu season” which usually comes in January, but currently do not see an end in sight. 

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“It is taking an enormous human toll on our health care workers,” the governor said.

“Our health care workers are quite frankly exhausted,” he continued. “They’ve been running a marathon for nine months straight, and with this new wave and the onset of flu season, it’s like they’re starting the race all over again.”

DeWine cautioned that “if we don’t change this,” Ohio hospitals will not be able to adequately give emergency care and other “important, but less urgent care.”

“Make no mistake, if nothing changes, this all could happen in just a few short weeks,” he said. 

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Ohio has been seeing a steady increase in new COVID-19 cases since the beginning of October. The state recorded its most new cases in a single day on Tuesday, with 6,508 new cases, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

The project's data shows cases have more than quadrupled in the past month.

Facilities have also reached a new high of 2,747 current hospitalizations, triple the amount since Oct. 11. 

In his address, DeWine said the state will have to close restaurants, bars and fitness centers “one week from tomorrow” if “the current trend continues.”

The U.S. reported 136,000 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, a record high.