Hospitalizations in Indiana worse than the start of the pandemic

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INDIANAPOLIS — COVID-19 hospitalizations in Indiana have reached an all-time high. Experts are worried the high case count in recent days will make things worse inside hospitals within the coming weeks.

“I think we’re seeing similar increases many places in the Midwest. So, I think this trend is consistent with what we’re seeing in many parts of the country. And it’s not surprising, typically hospitalizations tend to be slightly lagging behind test counts,” said Regenstrief Institute Vice President of Data and Analytics Dr. Shaun Grannis.

Dr. Grannis says things took a turn for the worse when the weather got cold and people started congregating inside. But there are several viruses that circulate in the fall, making things worse with no approved COVID vaccine.

“There are a number of viruses that are exchanged because we are in closer proximity that is one driver of this exchange,” said Dr. Grannis

The highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the spring was 1,799 on April 13th. Seven months later there are 3,000 patients hospitalized. Experts say what’s different is the virus is no longer isolated, it’s everywhere. 

All of these should be wake up calls, and warning signs for people…to continue to follow safety precautions,” said Dr. Grannis.

Indiana has 25% of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds available and 75% of its ventilators are going unused.

But health experts are still worried about what’s next and their ability to continue caring for patients after 8,451 positive cases were reported Saturday. 

“What concerns me the most is this will be the first time in this pandemic where we have kind of back-to-back events where people are very used to getting together as family,” said IU Health Chief Quality and Safety Officer Dr. Michele Saysana.

Hosting smaller Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings are simple steps we can all take to mitigate the virus.

“I am confident in Hoosier’s ability to face the pandemic and do what’s right to slow down the new case counts,” said Dr. Grannis.

If not, experts fear our communities will begin to see a decrease in hospitals’ capacity to care for those who are ill. 

“We’ve got some critical times coming up that we have to be really vigilant and careful and do everything we can so that next year we’re all here,” said Dr. Saysana.

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