Three Dayton business groups called on local companies to take COVID-19 precautions seriously in a full-page ad in the Dayton Daily News on Sunday.
The Dayton Development Coalition, Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Dayton Partnership called on area businesses to focus on COVID-19 safety. The leaders of the three organizations — Chris Kershner of DACC, Jeff Hoagland of the DDC and Sandy Gudorf of the DDP — signed the letter.
The letter comes as local hospitals have delayed procedures that aren’t immediately critical but could prevent future complications, reduce severe pain or better the patient’s quality of life.
Patients are also reporting long wait times at emergency rooms and urgent care facilities, and others have trouble getting doctors’ appointments.
“We implore you to strengthen your focus on COVID-19 safety so that our region can continue moving toward the goal of a completely reopened economy,” the three leaders said.
All three specified, though, they did not want to impede the momentum of business or worsen a workforce challenge. But the three said it is “critical” that businesses continue safe working conditions and encourage healthy employee practices.
The letter also notes that 85% of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the last four weeks are unvaccinated, though it stops short of calling for employers to mandate vaccinations. It does imply businesses could encourage masking and vaccinations.
As of Jan. 13, 636 people were hospitalized with COVID-19.
As of Thursday, nearly 79% of the beds in all the hospitals in our area were occupied, according to the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association. Nearly 79% of ICU beds were also in use Thursday.
GDAHA includes 29 hospitals and health organizations in Auglaize, Butler, Darke, Champaign, Clark, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, Shelby and Warren counties.
“Our hospitals are at capacity. COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are setting new records every day,” the letter says. “To get through this pandemic and ensure our Dayton region business community can thrive on the other side, recommit to being the safest and healthiest businesses in Ohio.”