Indiana officials plan for surge in number of COVID-19 cases

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Indiana leaders expect a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases.

Monday Governor Holcomb alongside medical professionals outlined state plans to fight the virus.

Officials say they expect to see peak numbers in mid-April to mid-May regarding COVID-19 and that they are hard at work making space in state hospitals.

They also say they’re pulling personal protective equipment and medical staff, some potential staff, soon to be med school graduates.

“Talk to your family and you loved ones about what your wishes would be if you fell ill and were not able to talk for yourself. It is time to have that conversation now,” Lindsay Weaver with the Indiana State Dept. of Health said at Governor Holcomb’s state address Monday.

Indiana health officials are planning to see a surge of COVID-19 cases enter the state of Indiana.

During governor Holcomb’s state address Monday, health officials claimed they are pulling medical personnel to help serve critical care providers. Despite that some of those future providers might not have graduated from med school.

“We have our critical care providers who have been doing this every day for 5, 10, 20 years partnered with those who have been in other specialties and doing other things in a tiered manner so they have that oversight and expertise,” Chris Weaver with IU School of Medicine said.

Medical officials also say they’re working on space inside of hospitals. Moving neo-natal and other pediatric spaces to Riley hospital so space can be used for adult intensive care.

The baseline number of hospital beds in Indiana was 1,432, today it’s 1940, a 35% increase in the first phase of surge planning.

Some medical professionals assure that even in over 30 Indiana counties with no hospital, Hoosiers will have the care they need utilizing additional transportation.

“Additional surge planning has focus on designating alternate care facilities, should our current efforts be exhausted. The Indiana National Guard and Department Homeland Security in conjunction with FEMA are developing facilities that can be stood up in a 72 to a 96 hour time frame,” Lindsay Weaver said.

Governor Holcomb says with the president’s expansion of social distancing guidelines until the end of April, we could see an impact on Indiana’s orders.

“It doesn’t mean it will, but it very well could. We’ll adjust to the facts on the ground in the state of Indiana on a day-in, day-out basis, weekly basis,” he said.

Despite the anticipation of a surge, Governor Holcomb shared some optimistic words about Hoosiers.

“As we see a surge coming, we see a true surge of Hoosier kindness and love and generosity, in fact right now I don’t think the Hoosier spirit has ever been stronger.”

Dr. Kristina Box with the Indiana State Department of health says 66% of Hoosiers who died were men, 34% were women. She says that’s considering men’s health risks.

She says Indiana is testing ten times more than they were able to 3 weeks ago and are working to get more test kits in the state and that all long-term care facilities have been visited by health care professionals and a plan has been put in place.

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