Delaware County hospital seeing a surge of positive COVID-19 patients

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MUNCIE, Ind. — An IU Health hospital in Delaware County is seeing a surge of positive COVID-19 patients. Officials said now more than ever your vigilance is needed to keep communities safe.

“This week, yesterday in particular, was significantly our busiest time with positive COVID inpatients,” said Jeff Bird, president of IU Health East Central Region.

The emergency department at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie is extremely busy. On Friday afternoon, Bird said there was only one critical care bed still open.

“We have seen a pretty significant trend up in the number of sick patients who have needed hospitalization,” he said.

For several weeks, Bird said around 25 patients were staying in the hospital and being treated for COVID-19 a day. This week around 40 were receiving care.

It’s a jump from this summer. Bird explained said less than 10 COVID-19 patients stayed at the hospital per day during June and July and many days they cared for roughly 5 patients for coronavirus.

Indiana’s State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box address hospitalizations in her press briefing on Wednesday.

“I think that Labor Day can certainly be contributing to our numbers of cases,” she said. “I think the important thing to remember with hospitals is we have maintained and continue to maintain our ability to care for these patients “

Statewide, most ICU beds are being used by non-coronavirus patients. As of Thursday, 1,187 Hoosiers were in the hospital for COVID-19. The state has not seen hospitalizations this high in Indiana since May.

IU Health Ball Memorial is not the only hospital seeing an increase in patients.

In northern Indiana, Elkhart General Hospital is reporting the highest number of COVID-19 patients since the pandemic began. In Vigo County, the health department attributed the increase in cases to an apple festival and large outdoor events.

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