SEYMOUR, Ind. (WAVE) – Indiana hospitals continue to experience limited capacity as cases of COVID-19 surge. During the state’s coronavirus briefing Wednesday, Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box announced grim new numbers for hospital admissions.
“The number of people hospitalized with COVID or COVID like symptoms continue to rise, and it’ over 3,400 today, that almost double where we were one month ago,” she said.
Box explained the daily hospitalization numbers also continue to increase at a significant rate. On Nov. 1, 224 COVID patients were admitted to Indiana hospitals compared to Oct. 1, when only 85 COVID patients were admitted. Box also said COVID hospitals admissions on Nov. 27 topped 425 and more are being reported.
“This is forcing a number of hospitals to go on diversion, which is making patients travel further to find a hospital with bed,” Box said.
Indiana is now second in the nation for COVID hospitalizations per capita, only behind South Dakota, according to a report from the IndyStar.
Schneck Medical Center President and CEO Dr. Eric Fish said hospital capacity is constantly changing.
“We’re not at capacity but in two hours we could be at capacity so it’s really an hour to hour thing,” he said.
As recently as Nov. 18, Schenck Medical Center was at capacity and diverting patients. Currently, Fish said the medical center is “holding steady” and accepting patients that have been moved from other hospitals.
However, Fish said Schneck’s capacity could change again in the coming weeks.
“We’re very concerned on what, what may come,” he said. “With the impact of Thanksgiving still 10 to 14 days out.”
Doctors expect cases of COVID-19 to increase in the weeks following Thanksgiving, limiting capacity even further.
Indiana Hospital Association president Brian Tabor said that “looming threat” a concern.
“It’s very alarming, we have pockets around the state that I think are really teetering on the age,” he said.
Tabor believes a further surge of coronavirus cases could completely overwhelm the system.
“It’s unfortunate that we have these spiking numbers right now when he have these bright lights at the end of the tunnel,” he said.
Gov. Eric Holcomb on Wednesday called on Hoosiers to “sacrifice” and follow COVID precautions but implemented no further restrictions.
“We’ll continue to appeal and make sure folks have the information as COVID-19 continues to ravage our communities and families and make sure folks are equipped to make the right safe decisions,” he said. “We will never be able to do enough, no state no country and the nation will ever be able to do enough and every loss of life and every chair that was empty this Thanksgiving is heart breaking and If I could have done a lot more I would’ve done a lot more.”