Indiana seeks retired health care workers for COVID-19 help

State officials are renewing their call for retired health care workers to help relieve staff in Indiana’s hospitals and long-term care facilities as the number of hospitalizations and new infections across the state continue to spike at record highs.

Posted: Nov 9, 2020 9:42 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — State officials are renewing their call for retired health care workers to help relieve staff in Indiana’s hospitals and long-term care facilities as the number of hospitalizations and new infections across the state continue to spike at record highs.

Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box said Wednesday that hospitals and healthcare workers in Indiana are swamped, “needing support now more than ever.”

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The state’s hospitals are currently seeing more coronavirus patients than at any other time in the pandemic.

There were 2,070 Hoosiers hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Saturday, according to the state’s online coronavirus dashboard.

Roughly 70% of Indiana’s intensive care unit beds were in use.

“This all takes an incredible toll,” Box said during a news conference. “The greatest strain right now is on our hospital workforce, which is in the ninth month of responding to this pandemic, and facing the greatest patient load yet. They are, frankly, exhausted.”

Staffing issues continue to be the greatest challenge, Box said, especially as health care workers in high-spread areas of the state are required to be quarantined after exposure to an infected person outside the workplace.

The health department is now talking to hospital leadership about ways to better juggle staffing, but Box said there’s still a need for additional reservists who would be “willing to serve.”

Still, hospitals are not short on personal protective equipment, putting them in a better position than they were this spring, said Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, who has continued to resist calls for reinstating coronavirus restrictions: “We have the capacity to care right now. When we start to lose that capacity to care, then we’re going to have to become more and more restrictive.”

Last month, state officials announced more than 1,300 members of Indiana’s National Guard were being deployed to the 133 hardest hit long-term care centers to assist with infection control practices like improved COVID-19 testing for facility residents and employees.

That support — meant, in part, to relieve health care staff — will then expand to all 534 nursing homes in Indiana over the next three weeks, Adjutant General, Brig. Gen. Dale Lyles said.

The extra help will be available until Dec. 31.

Both Box and Holcomb said Wednesday they appreciate all that health care workers are doing, but emphasized that Hoosiers, too, should extend their gratitude by wearing masks, practicing social distancing and washing their hands.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 750432

Reported Deaths: 13764
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1031991782
Lake556411007
Allen41662691
St. Joseph36974564
Hamilton36561417
Elkhart29390459
Tippecanoe22886225
Vanderburgh22549400
Porter19348325
Johnson18432388
Hendricks17608317
Clark13206193
Madison13139344
Vigo12608253
LaPorte12415221
Monroe12188175
Delaware10954198
Howard10285225
Kosciusko9619119
Hancock8562145
Bartholomew8164157
Warrick7856156
Floyd7781180
Grant7232179
Wayne7160201
Boone6939103
Morgan6746141
Dubois6214118
Marshall6208116
Cass6000109
Dearborn589578
Henry5895109
Noble580787
Jackson508975
Shelby500896
Lawrence4738122
Gibson444593
Clinton441455
Harrison441073
DeKalb439485
Montgomery436390
Whitley406343
Huntington402481
Steuben399759
Miami393169
Jasper387454
Knox375890
Putnam372160
Wabash360683
Ripley346970
Adams345355
Jefferson335785
White331553
Daviess3033100
Wells295181
Decatur289992
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey273835
LaGrange273072
Scott270156
Clay266448
Washington245234
Randolph244783
Jennings235349
Spencer234431
Starke227958
Fountain220348
Sullivan214343
Owen211658
Fulton202142
Jay200932
Carroll193420
Orange188155
Perry187137
Rush175826
Vermillion174644
Franklin170335
Tipton166146
Parke149316
Pike138234
Blackford136232
Pulaski120547
Newton113736
Brown104043
Crawford102316
Benton101414
Martin91615
Warren83815
Switzerland8118
Union72810
Ohio57811
Unassigned0420

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1108146

Reported Deaths: 20122
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1286421460
Cuyahoga1157382208
Hamilton813551248
Montgomery525311041
Summit48395999
Lucas43343818
Butler38951604
Stark33318929
Lorain25658504
Warren24580303
Mahoning22355603
Lake21166387
Clermont20111253
Delaware18841135
Licking16660222
Fairfield16570204
Trumbull16537482
Medina15603271
Greene15272247
Clark14233306
Wood13287198
Portage13242214
Allen11910239
Richland11601211
Miami10843224
Wayne9130222
Columbiana9029230
Muskingum8906135
Pickaway8658122
Tuscarawas8643248
Marion8641138
Erie8056164
Ashtabula7147179
Hancock6996132
Ross6943161
Geauga6834150
Scioto6534105
Belmont6155174
Union584549
Lawrence5726102
Jefferson5675158
Huron5544122
Sandusky5439125
Darke5415129
Seneca5347126
Washington5318109
Athens523660
Auglaize501887
Mercer487385
Shelby476595
Knox4570112
Madison444065
Ashland435597
Putnam4336103
Defiance432298
Fulton432072
Crawford4036110
Brown402461
Logan387577
Preble3848104
Clinton379166
Ottawa373581
Highland359665
Williams348078
Champaign344258
Guernsey324853
Jackson318154
Perry297350
Morrow291840
Fayette285450
Hardin274965
Henry273367
Holmes2699101
Coshocton268960
Van Wert247264
Adams243156
Pike242835
Gallia240750
Wyandot234556
Hocking220162
Carroll197148
Paulding176542
Meigs148240
Monroe136344
Noble136039
Harrison114138
Morgan109624
Vinton85517
Unassigned03
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
83° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 89°
Angola
Clear
° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: °
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
86° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 91°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
83° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 89°
Van Wert
Mostly Cloudy
78° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 80°
Showers and storms are possible Saturday morning, but the chance of rain will stick around all day long.
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