INDIANAPOLIS — As positive cases reach new heights in Indiana weekly, hospitalizations rates are expected to not be far behind. The head of the Indiana Hospital Association expects to see a new record for daily COVID-19 hospitalizations this week.
“I do expect we will come extremely close if not surpass that record of COVID hospitalizations set last November,” said Brian Tabor, president of the Indiana Hospital Association.
“I do expect we will come extremely close if not surpass that record of COVID hospitalizations set last November,” Tabor said.
This as many Indianapolis hospitals are already near or over capacity.
The entire IU Health system is operating at 120% of normal staffed beds. Dr. Chris Weaver, the Chief Clinical Officer for IU Health, said he expects those numbers to still increase meaning they’ll need to stretch their resources even farther.
”We’ve learned a lot to allow us to stretch capacity over the years, we are significantly above capacity right now,” Weaver said.
Weaver said, as of Tuesday afternoon, IU Health is caring for 601 COVID patients and hit a new high for total COVID inpatients this week at 625. Weaver said 70% of those patients are unvaccinated and that percentage only grows as cases get more serious.
”When you start talking about those in the ICU, that climbs,” Weaver said “When you start talking about those on a ventilators in the ICU that’s closer to 90% unvaccinated.”
These problems are seen across the state.
”We’re overflowing into our outpatient areas with inpatients,” said Linda Wessic, the Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Operating Officer at Major Health Partners in Shelbyville.
Wessic said more than 80% of their COVID inpatients are unvaccinated.
Tabor said hospitals are also dealing with a surge of people coming to the Emergency Room just to get tested for COVID. He’s asked Hoosiers to not do that.
”The rapid spread of this new variant and the lack of available testing capacity is leading many Hoosiers to come to the emergency room to receive a test and the system just cannot handle that right now,” Tabor said.
He said this has become a statewide issue that is clogging emergency departments. Weaver said they have run into the same problem as well.
”They are already really, really, really busy with sick patients and every additional patient that comes in for a test, they have to be screened, evaluated and all that takes away from them being able to care for the patients that come in sick,” said Weaver.
Weaver and Tabor said Hoosiers can help hospitals by finding other ways to get tested and protecting themselves and others.
”Please if its your time for a booster, or if you haven’t been vaccinated please consider getting vaccinated,” said Weaver.
We reached out to all major Indianapolis hospitals to see how many COVID-19 patients each is dealing with and what percentage of them are unvaccinated.
Eskenazi Health currently has 109 COVID-19 patients. 72.6% are unvaccinated and 83% of patients on ventilators are unvaccinated, as well. In adddition, only .94% of those 109 COVID patients are boosted.
IU Health is operating at 120% of normally staffed beds and serving more than 600 COVID patients. Roughly 70% are unvaccinated and nearly 90% of IU Health COVID patients on ventilators are unvaccinated.
Community Health Network has about 250 COVID patients, a spokesperson said three out of every four beds has a COVID patient in it right now. 75% of Community COVID patients are unvaccinated.
Franciscan Health is caring for nearly 100 COVID patients. A spokesperson was only able to provide a “vast majority” of those patients are unvaccinated.
At Ascension St. Vincent Hospitals, 91.8% of all COVID patients since June of 2021 have been unvaccinated.