COVID-19 Update

The never-ending COVID nightmare continues to worsen as Indiana hospitals are setting records for total hospital census. According to the Indiana Department of Health, December set the record for the highest number of hospitalized patients in the last 5 years. There were 1500 more patients hospitalized in Indiana this month than in December 2020.

Henry Community Health, like almost every Indiana hospital, is bursting at the seams with sick patients. “We are experiencing the perfect storm of a high volume of critically ill patients coupled with severe staffing shortages,” said Paul Janssen, president and CEO. “Staffing was better during the first surge in 2020. We were able to pull staff from offices and departments that were shut down. That is not the case this time around,” continued Janssen. Adding the influx of critically ill patients and staffing shortages has Henry Community Health on the brink of a healthcare crisis.

The concern is not only for those COVID+ patients seeking care. Anyone who is sick and requires hospitalization will have difficulty receiving care under these conditions. HCH continues to postpone necessary elective surgical procedures every day, which negatively impacts a patients’ health. It is also difficult to transfer critically ill patients to other hospitals due to high census and staffing shortages at those hospitals as well.

The best thing the community can do to help alleviate the strain on the hospital is to get vaccinated. The majority of patients hospitalized with COVID are unvaccinated. This week alone, COVID+ unvaccinated patients filled an average of 17 beds each day. In addition to getting vaccinated, we also advise patients to seek care from their primary care providers. We have several sick patients who skipped their primary care appointments throughout the pandemic and are now critically ill.

Immediate Care at New Castle Family & Internal Medicine Northfield Park is offering the Pfizer vaccine and booster. Walk in or call 765.599.2754 for an appointment. The Henry County Health Department has the Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines and boosters. You can call the Health Department at 521.7059 to schedule an appointment or schedule online at ourshot.in.gov.

We are asking everyone, vaccinated or unvaccinated, to wear a mask in public, avoid gatherings and social distance. If you do not have to go out, don’t. Wash hands frequently. If you are COVID+ or have been exposed to someone who is COVID+, please follow the CDC guidelines for isolation and quarantine. We can curb the spread and lighten the load on our healthcare system by using these proven mitigation tactics.