Amid COVID Surge, NEO Health Care Providers Implore Public for Help

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — In a joint statement released Monday, leaders from 19 health care providers in northeastern Ohio are asking for help as they face a shortage of inpatient beds.

In the statement, the providers say the region is seeing “a critical surge of patients in our healthcare facilities, with hospitals, emergency departments and urgent care centers all seeing high numbers of patients.” While the hospitals are ready to care for patients, “we are facing a shortage of available inpatient beds and significantly longer than usual wait times for emergency and urgent care,” according to the statement.

The most notable reason for the surge cited by the undersigned – which includes Ed Muransky, CEO of Southwoods Health – is the increased number of patients with COVID-19. “Unfortunately, models show the number is expected to continue to grow,” they write.

To help, the providers are asking Ohioans to get vaccinated if they haven’t already. Residents can locate vaccination sites in their area at

Providers also provided the following guidance to help:

  • For mild, routine health care needs, consider seeking care from your local health care provider, telehealth services or pharmacy-based clinics.
  • If you have mild COVID symptoms, consider calling one of the health care providers above before seeking care in person or at an emergency department.
  • If you have concerns about exposure but aren’t experiencing symptoms, or need proof that you don’t have COVID for travel requirements or event access, find testing sites near you at
  • Consider not seeking testing at an emergency department if you have mild or no symptoms.
  • Wear a mask if indoors or in large gatherings, even if you are fully vaccinated.
  • Social distance when possible and avoid large crowds.
  • Practice frequent hand-washing.

“We need your help to ensure we continue to have the resources and staff to care for our community,” the providers write. “Unless your COVID-19 symptoms are worsening or life-threatening, you have better care options that can help us stay focused on delivering advanced care to those who need it most.”

Click HERE to read the letter in its entirety and all who signed it.

Pictured: In this March 2, 2021, file photo, pharmacy technician Hollie Maloney loads a syringe with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine at the Portland Expo in Portland, Maine. The U.S. gave full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.