Indiana seeks retired health care workers for COVID-19 help

State officials are renewing their call for retired health care workers to help relieve staff in Indiana’s hospitals and long-term care facilities as the number of hospitalizations and new infections across the state continue to spike at record highs.

Posted: Nov 9, 2020 12:28 PM
Updated: Nov 11, 2020 5:35 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — State officials are renewing their call for retired health care workers to help relieve staff in Indiana’s hospitals and long-term care facilities as the number of hospitalizations and new infections across the state continue to spike at record highs.

Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box said Wednesday that hospitals and healthcare workers in Indiana are swamped, “needing support now more than ever.”

The state’s hospitals are currently seeing more coronavirus patients than at any other time in the pandemic. There were 2,070 Hoosiers hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Saturday, according to the state’s online coronavirus dashboard. Roughly 70% of the Indiana’s intensive care unit beds were in use.

“This all takes an incredible toll,” Box said during a news conference. “The greatest strain right now is on our hospital workforce, which is in the ninth month of responding to this pandemic, and facing the greatest patient load yet. They are, frankly, exhausted.”

Staffing issues continue to be the greatest challenge, Box said, especially as health care workers in high-spread areas of the state require to be quarantined after exposure to an infected person outside the workplace. The health department is now talking to hospital leadership about ways to better juggle staffing, but Box said there’s still a need for additional reservists who would be “willing to serve.”

Still, hospitals are not short on personal protective equipment, putting them in a better position than they were this spring, said Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, who has continued to resist calls for reinstating coronavirus restrictions: “We have the capacity to care right now. When we start to lose that capacity to care, then we’re going to have to become more and more restrictive.”

Last month, state officials announced more than 1,300 members of Indiana’s National Guard were being deployed to the 133 hardest hit long-term care centers to assist with infection control practices like improved COVID-19 testing for facility residents and employees. That support — meant, in part, to relieve health care staff — will then expand to all 534 nursing homes in Indiana over the next three weeks, Adjutant General, Brig. Gen. Dale Lyles said. The extra help will be available until Dec. 31.

Both Box and Holcomb said Wednesday they appreciate all that health care workers are doing, but emphasized that Hoosiers, too, should extend their gratitude by wearing masks, practicing social distancing and washing their hands.

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Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1586741

Reported Deaths: 26925
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook60838310908
DuPage1029391352
Will864071082
Lake763201054
Kane65287840
Winnebago38594543
Madison37626567
St. Clair34704559
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Sangamon24210266
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Rock Island17578342
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Kendall15226105
LaSalle14310275
Macon14208230
Vermilion12890181
Adams12562147
DeKalb11496126
Williamson11171154
Whiteside7797176
Boone754681
Jackson752079
Coles7169111
Ogle702685
Grundy692281
Clinton674698
Franklin664794
Knox6469163
Marion6416135
Macoupin633997
Henry607172
Jefferson5959130
Effingham586380
Livingston562894
Woodford548891
Stephenson536489
Randolph520196
Monroe501998
Morgan478895
Christian477880
Fulton477069
Logan472873
Montgomery461276
Lee454056
Bureau422087
Perry408870
Saline397663
Iroquois390271
Fayette386556
McDonough351355
Jersey319553
Douglas302636
Shelby298943
Crawford297630
Union293445
Lawrence293231
Wayne266756
White260729
Richland255652
Hancock252234
Pike250656
Cass246728
Clark242938
Bond241524
Ford232956
Clay231647
Edgar228544
Carroll223837
Warren219756
Johnson208622
Moultrie208231
Washington204227
Jo Daviess202224
Greene198938
Mason195451
Wabash195015
Massac194544
De Witt192030
Piatt188714
Mercer186134
Cumberland174023
Menard155112
Jasper149218
Marshall133121
Hamilton126721
Brown10128
Pulaski97311
Schuyler9598
Edwards94315
Stark75826
Gallatin7254
Scott6885
Alexander66111
Calhoun6362
Henderson63014
Hardin55613
Putnam5414
Pope4715
Unassigned1262432
Out of IL30

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 922320

Reported Deaths: 15046
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1257411955
Lake624991085
Allen52483747
Hamilton43160443
St. Joseph41310584
Elkhart33007487
Vanderburgh29828437
Tippecanoe26515247
Johnson23192415
Hendricks21821340
Porter21321341
Clark17073222
Madison16978379
Vigo15715272
Monroe14236190
LaPorte14029236
Delaware13694217
Howard13590259
Kosciusko11192134
Hancock10606160
Warrick10479175
Bartholomew10283167
Floyd10144202
Wayne9634216
Grant8901196
Morgan8688158
Boone8260109
Dubois7555123
Henry7433127
Dearborn737187
Noble7229100
Marshall7209128
Cass7076117
Lawrence6827150
Shelby6428106
Jackson641481
Gibson6018105
Harrison591684
Huntington587891
Montgomery5685101
DeKalb557791
Knox535399
Miami527383
Clinton524864
Putnam523167
Whitley511151
Steuben483367
Wabash472192
Jasper469161
Jefferson459491
Ripley440775
Adams436665
Daviess4036106
Scott393163
White384257
Clay379756
Greene378189
Decatur377895
Wells376983
Fayette364974
Posey353441
Jennings344356
Washington324847
LaGrange313474
Spencer311734
Fountain308553
Randolph302787
Sullivan297547
Owen276961
Starke271361
Orange270859
Fulton266051
Jay249234
Perry246750
Carroll240426
Franklin231037
Vermillion228250
Rush228030
Parke213620
Tipton206154
Pike201438
Blackford164834
Pulaski158250
Crawford141418
Newton139441
Benton138916
Brown132046
Martin126216
Switzerland122810
Warren113216
Union92511
Ohio76111
Unassigned0465