Indiana State Health Commissioner says surge in COVID-19 cases puts a strain on healthcare workers

Local News

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Wednesday, the Indiana State Department Health announced 3,756 more Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19. State officials say as these numbers increase it’s putting a strain on health-care workers.

On a day where Indiana reported a record number of COVID-19 cases, health officials also announced that the state’s seven day positivity rate has increased by nearly 5 percent since September 16th.

“As that positivity rate increases what happens down stream? Hospitalization rates go up, unfortunately we see more deaths,” said Governor Eric Holcomb, Indiana.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box says hospitalizations have reached the highest level since the start of the pandemic.

As of Tuesday, 1,897 Hoosiers were hospitalized due to COVID-19.

She says this is having a direct impact on health care workers.

“They are frankly exhausted. They’re quarantined or in a family quarantine. They’re juggling home issues just like the rest of us,” Dr. Box said.

In response, state leaders say they are in involved in ongoing discussions with hospitals.

“What we hear consistently is that their biggest challenge is having enough staffing. Some hospitals have already needed to re-arrange their elective surgical procedures to accommodate their staffing needs,” Box said.

To assist hospitals with the latest surge in cases, Box says she is calling on licensed healthcare providers to volunteer as a member of Indiana’s healthcare reserve workforce.

“Our front line healthcare workers are exhausted, they need our support more now than ever both emotionally and physically,” Box said.

While discussing the state’s reopening plan, Box and Holcomb say they will continue to address this at a local level.

“As the Governor said we are working county by county, region by region with hospitals, with local health departments, with our school systems and actually making changes and tweaks at the local level to address this,” Box said.

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