Henry Community Health Nearing Capacity as COVID-19 Spikes

A surge in COVID hospitalizations over the last several weeks has Henry Community Health nearing capacity.

The Emergency Department has seen a 30% increase in patients over the last several weeks. While most patients are seeking treatment for COVID, the remaining have serious life-threatening issues. “We have seen an influx of patients with chronic conditions who delayed seeing their primary care provider during the pandemic. Now, their previously controlled medical condition has become life-threatening,” said Amanda Brookbank, ED Director.

With the ED admitting more patients, it has become necessary for HCH to postpone elective surgeries. The severity of illness has extended patients’ length of stay which has crippled bed availability. “We evaluate on a daily basis to determine if we have beds available for elective inpatient surgeries,” said Shelley Wilson, Chief Nursing Officer. “Over the last 8 days, that answer has been no,” continued Wilson.

Shortages in the health care workforce across the nation have posed additional challenges for hospitals and Henry Community Health is also feeling the strain. Adequate staffing is a limiting factor that we must manage on a daily basis.

“This clearly is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. The delta variant doesn’t care about your age, sex, or race. It targets those who are unvaccinated,” said Dr. Arun Tewari, Chief Medical Officer. “You are 11 times more likely to die if you are unvaccinated. Currently…..If you are diagnosed with Covid please contact your primary care provider and see if you qualify for monoclonal antibody treatment. The sooner you receive this the better your chance of staying out of the hospital. We also recommend patients perform deep breathing and self-proning maneuvers which means changing positions side to side and laying on your belly when sleeping,” Dr. Tewari continued.

If you are experiencing COVID symptoms, free testing is available by registering online at ourshot.in.gov or by calling 211. If you are COVID positive and experiencing symptoms, contact your primary care provider.

The best defense against COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. You can also take other measures to mitigate the risk of exposure such as wearing a mask, washing your hands regularly, and social distancing. Patients can walk-in to Immediate Care at Northfield Park Mon-Fri 8-5 to receive their COVID-19 vaccine.