Indiana’s Healthcare Staff Facing Highest COVID Cases in 9 Months
Yes, you read that right. Frontline workers are caring for the highest level of positive COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box addressed media during Governor Holcomb's COVID update on Wednesday. She said that Indiana hospitals are having regular meetings to plan for the surge.
Right now, staffing is the biggest issue they are dealing with. This isn't like the situation we were dealing with in the spring. The state is keeping an eye on the capacity to care in each local hospital, in every Indiana county. But having qualified front line workers is no easy task. I know that I certainly couldn't do their jobs. My mother in law died from COVID last month, and her nurse was the only one that could be with her, as our family said goodbye on Facetime. Can you even imagine how emotionally exhausting that is? It's not just elderly patients in nursing homes that are dying; Of the 701 Hoosiers that died from COVID in the last 2 weeks of October, 21 of them were under the age of 50.
What's Being Done to Stop the Surge?
- The Indiana National Guard members are getting specialized training to work in the 534 long-term care facilities in the state. This will help keep the virus out of the homes of healthcare workers, causing it to spread outside of the facility.
- Contact tracing - If you test positive, you will receive a text, requesting that you call them back. There is a long list of questions, so they can identify your close contacts, and trace the virus back to its source.
- Closing the State is Not the Answer - Governor Holcomb urged Hoosiers to do what works; Wear a mask, Social distance ,Practice good hygiene, and stay home if you are sick.
- Why Not Issue Tickets? The biggest issue with the spread is that people are not wearing a mask, but Holcomb said he couldn't hire enough police officers to enforce this type of infraction.
- Local Health Departments do have the power to implement enforcement measures.
Governor Holcomb also put a couple of rumors to rest. He said there had been chatter that he was going to issue a couple of big shutdowns during Wednesday's press conference.
"I'm not going to shut the borders down, I'm not going to shut commerce down and think that will eliminate the spread or positivity rate." He added that "Schools are not going 100% virtual as of today." - Governor Holcomb