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Marietta hospitals bar visitors amid COVID outbreak

MARIETTA — Another consequence of rising coronavirus cases in the fall surge have hit the Mid-Ohio Valley.

In Marietta, Memorial Health System has announced it is operating under new visitor restrictions and is allowing no visitors at this time, with few exceptions.

Total hospitalizations across the state due to the coronavirus pandemic are continuing to trend upwards, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine explained Tuesday during a statewide briefing, with 4,449 patients in Ohio hospitalized. Of those, 1,046 patients were in intensive care units Tuesday.

“Approximately one in four of all hospitalized patients in Ohio is infected with COVID-19, and this continues to put tremendous stress on Ohio hospitals in every corner of the state,” described the governor, linking the current surge to people gathering on and around Halloween. “This holiday season, let’s show each other how much we care by making the necessary sacrifices to ensure we will all be healthy to celebrate next Thanksgiving.”

DeWine reported 364 new hospitalizations throughout the state between Monday and Tuesday, and 8,604 additional positive COVID-19 cases, with the caveat that the Ohio Department of Health is still processing thousands of backlogged data.

“The big fear is if we don’t take the message of masking, distancing and avoiding big groups seriously, Thanksgiving could result in our hospitals being overwhelmed,” said Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff. “It’s very serious. It’s a matter of personal responsibility, and we owe it to each other.”

According to Memorial Health System, that surge has hit the valley, and is the cause of the restrictions on visitors this week and for the foreseeable future.

“Visitor exceptions for pediatrics, end of life care, maternity, and surgery patients will apply and be shared by clinical staff,” said the system’s press release.

Meanwhile, local numbers within the last two weeks show:

* 214 cases within the Marietta area zip code (45750).

* 62 cases within the Belpre/Dunham area zip code (45714).

* 31 cases within the Waterford/Watertown area zip code (45786).

* 20 cases within the Lowell/Coal Run/Rainbow area zip code (45744).

* 17 cases within the Beverly area zip code (45715).

* 16 cases within the Barlow/Vincent area zip code (45784).

* 15 cases within the New Matamoras/Grandview area zip code (45767).

* 14 cases within the Fleming area zip code (45729).

* 12 cases within the Whipple/Stanleyville area zip code (45788).

* 11 cases within the Little Hocking area zip code (45742).

* 10 cases within the Bartlett/Cutler area zip code (45724).

* 7 cases within the Lower Salem/Germantown area zip code (45745).

* 5 cases within the Newport area zip code (45768).

The Ohio Department of Health continued Tuesday to note that the data listed above is incomplete, with thousands of reports pending review.

Janelle Patterson may be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.

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