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FISHERS — Community Health Physician Network is working to reschedule routine check-ups and other non-emergent doctor’s appointments to help care for sick patients. Dr. John Kunzer is the President of Community’s Physician Network and said the current surge of COVID-19 is has skyrocketed the demand for care.

“What we want to be able to do is to try and decompress our emergency rooms and our med checks,” Dr. Kunzer said. “Leave those for the sickest of the sick.” This week Kunzer asked its primary care offices to try and open up more same-day appointments by pushing back non-essential appointments.

“We are going to get everyone taken care of it’s just in the priority,” Dr. Kunzer said. Community’s Pediatric Office in Fishers said it was rescheduling appointment 6-8 weeks later because of how much this recent surge is affecting children.

“Cases among kids have gone up considerably with the Omicron variant kind of at play,” Dr. Brian Dixon at the Regenstrief Institute said. The Regenstrief Institute said this past December and so far this month, 407 children (17 and under) have been hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those hospitalized children, only 16 very vaccinated.

“Vaccines are doing an excellent job at keeping kids out of the hospital in the same way that they are keeping adults out of the hospital,” Dr. Dixon said. Dr. Kunzer at Community said this is just more fallout from the lack of space in hospitals and lack of staff. He said they need the community’s help with masking, vaccinations and social distancing to make it through this surge.

“You go out and see the football games you see outside it appears life as usual,” Dr. Kunzer said. “I can tell you our hospitals are being overrun and this is through all the health systems.” Community’s pediatric office said if parents feel that their kids’ appointment can’t wait they will honor what’s on the books. However, it is asking for patience and understanding as it navigates this unprecedented COVID-19 surge.