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Friday, our news team got a chance to speak with representatives from both hospitals in Lima about their current situations with Covid-19 hospitalizations. They say that cases may have plateaued, but it still remains at a high plateau. Both Mercy Health-St. Rita's and Lima Memorial Health System says they've hired more staff, and are having them pick up extra shifts, but they continue to feel the strain of the increased cases in the region. Compared to last year when hospitals were getting toward max capacity, this situation is worse for both hospitals for multiple reasons.

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They have been awarded the American Heart Association's Stroke Silver Plus Award for following stroke treatments based on nationally recognized, researched based guidelines. Lima Memorial applied for the award by demonstrating their work with stroke patients and the health and rehab education that they provide for those patients once they head home.

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COVID headlines across the United States have been pretty consistent over the last few weeks, as hospitals are becoming overwhelmed with patients, with the delta variant tearing through the country. Here locally, it’s much of the same, as Lima Memorial Health System says that about half of their critical care are COVID patients, with 90 percent of those people being unvaccinated.

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Two people were taken to the hospital following a rollover car crash in Lima this afternoon. First responders were called to the intersection of Pearl and Jackson Streets at 5 PM for a two-car crash resulting in one on its side. The Ford Bronco was heading west on Pearl and stopped at the posted signs. Police say the driver thought it was a 4-way stop and entered the path of Lexus LS heading south on Jackson Street. The two collided, sending the Bronco to spin and roll onto its side. Both drivers were the only occupants in their vehicles. They were each transported to Mercy Health - St. Rita's Medical Center and Lima Memorial Health System with minor injuries.

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With the recent signing of a new senate bill by Governor DeWine, hospitals and EMS in Ohio will have to make changes on how they treat certain patients. Senate Bill 21 mandates that local emergency transportation services create guidelines for dealing with stroke victims on their way to the hospital. These protocols will help assess a patient during transport and alert the emergency room on needs upon arrival. Having these systems in place could cut down crucial time on triage. The Emergency Department Medical Director at Lima Memorial Health System, Walter Elrod, M.D. says they already have a plan like this in place,, but these requirements will greatly benefit those that don't.

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Employees from Nutrien Lima Nitrogen were toured around the brand new rehab center that just opened this past fall. Nutrien gifted one hundred thousand dollars to the hospital to help with the $2.5 million project.

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The Johnny Appleseed Metropolitan Park District is using Arbor Day this year to honor those in our area impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Two white oak trees were planted in Heritage Park to honor Allen County healthcare workers, and those who lost their lives to the virus. Representatives from Allen County Public Health, Mercy Health - St. Rita's, and Lima Memorial Health System helped set the trees in their new home. To them and the park district, these trees represent more than just a site of dedication.