Indiana prepares for surge in COVID-19 patients


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The numbers are alarming.

On Thursday, the Indiana State Department of Health reported that 645 Hoosiers have tested positive for COVID-19, 17 people have died, and doctors say Hoosiers are still spreading the virus to others.

Healthcare employees are working around the clock to tackle this vicious virus.

“We won’t be able to stop the spread, but we can definitely slow the pace of the spread,” said IU Health Director of Infection Prevention Kristen Kelley.

“Unprecedented times” is the way healthcare workers on the frontlines describe the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A lot of this comes down to prevention and the basics. I think each person needs to really individualize their own plan for prevention,” said Kelley.

It remains vital that the public follow the guidelines from the CDC during Governor Eric Holcomb’ stay-at-home order.

Just overnight, the number of Hoosiers tested increased from 3,356 to 4,651.

“We are testing more. So our testing volume really has increased within the last couple of weeks. At the same time though, we are seeing an increase in cases due to acquisition. So if they say that one person can transmit cover to 2 or 2.5 people, that’s the pace that we really do want to slow,” said Kelley.

Some are saying it’s going to get worse before it gets better. IU Health is working with statisticians to crunch the numbers to see exactly where we could be by the end of the month. They’re also partnering with their 17 other hospitals in the system to prepare for the surge.

“Those numbers are really helping us to predict what we might see next week. We are trying to think ahead and a couple of weeks ahead,” said Kelley.

Planning ahead of time is key for healthcare workers who don’t know what turn the coronavirus could take.

“We have plans in place in the hospital to prepare for an increase in tens of cases. We have plans in place to account for an increase in hundreds of cases,” said Kelley.

For now, they wait while continuing to nurse those with the virus back to good health.

But there’s one thing Kelley wants you to keep in the back of your mind when thinking about healthcare workers who now live in fear while trying to save strangers.

“We’re all just looking into each other’s eyes and taking care of each other, even from a distance. And that’s the most important story to remember here is that we’re all in this together, and we’re taking care of each other in this process,” said Kelley.

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