As Ohio continues to battle the coronavirus (COVID-19), the state is preparing to expand its hospital capacity.
With cases and deaths trending upward -- and not projected to peak until late April or early May -- Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said it's not a matter of "if" but "when" the state will need more space for patients.
"We are working on hospital capacity," DeWine said at his daily coronavirus address on Thursday ."We are working on a big expansion of beds and getting the infrastructure ready."
As for how much more hospital space Ohio will need, DeWine only said "a lot, lot bigger."
DeWine's comments echo a sentiment shared by Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, who said earlier this week that the state is looking at converting hotel and dorm rooms into hospital units. Acton estimated on Thursday that Ohio's hospitals are currently at 60 percent capacity.
"We are going to hit peak capacity in our hospitals, and the folks with COVID-19 will be staying longer, which is why we need to increase the capacity in our hospitals," Acton said on Thursday. "Everything you are doing matters."
As of Thursday, 867 positive coronavirus cases have been found in Ohio, including 223 hospitalizations and 15 deaths. Ohio's first positive coronavirus case was discovered on March 9.