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: 1389892

Reported Deaths: 25606
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook55655610470
DuPage924461322
Will769851035
Lake683971019
Kane59475808
Winnebago34146508
Madison30990526
McHenry29197295
St. Clair28377519
Peoria23461343
Champaign21118155
Sangamon19112240
McLean18559188
Tazewell17234305
Rock Island15248329
Kankakee14574216
Kendall1329099
LaSalle12791250
Macon11000211
DeKalb10132121
Vermilion10039143
Adams8727127
Williamson7619134
Whiteside7199174
Boone683778
Ogle621983
Grundy598878
Clinton578991
Coles5774100
Knox5649155
Jackson510265
Henry508170
Livingston490291
Woodford484682
Stephenson482985
Macoupin478388
Effingham476972
Franklin454378
Marion4516117
Jefferson4425122
Monroe439094
Lee419354
Randolph416587
Fulton405459
Logan398864
Morgan393782
Christian383975
Montgomery379674
Bureau378484
Fayette322855
Perry320360
Iroquois314668
McDonough291651
Jersey271752
Douglas260836
Saline260657
Lawrence241027
Shelby232838
Union228341
Crawford214525
Bond208724
Cass203727
Ford189050
Warren184749
Clark184033
Jo Daviess182624
Pike182153
Wayne181253
Hancock180931
Carroll178537
Edgar177240
Richland176940
White170626
Washington164925
Moultrie163128
De Witt157229
Mason154245
Piatt152414
Clay149943
Mercer149534
Johnson148116
Greene145234
Massac136040
Wabash135712
Cumberland130319
Menard125012
Jasper116718
Marshall108119
Hamilton84216
Schuyler7827
Brown7326
Pulaski7007
Stark64824
Edwards57712
Calhoun5312
Henderson52914
Scott4901
Putnam4863
Alexander47411
Gallatin4704
Hardin39112
Pope3304
Unassigned502433
Out of IL360

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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

Cases: 752108

Reported Deaths: 13816
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1033831790
Lake558431013
Allen41736693
St. Joseph37007565
Hamilton36617417
Elkhart29425461
Tippecanoe22938228
Vanderburgh22565400
Porter19369327
Johnson18486389
Hendricks17696317
Clark13233195
Madison13176344
Vigo12631253
LaPorte12429221
Monroe12226176
Delaware10970198
Howard10349224
Kosciusko9643121
Hancock8578147
Bartholomew8174157
Warrick7864156
Floyd7815180
Grant7248179
Wayne7164201
Boone6979103
Morgan6768141
Dubois6224118
Marshall6214116
Cass6024110
Henry5903110
Dearborn589878
Noble581688
Jackson509476
Shelby502396
Lawrence4753122
Gibson445595
Clinton443555
Harrison441775
DeKalb440385
Montgomery439890
Whitley406744
Huntington403381
Steuben400859
Miami395769
Jasper389155
Knox377691
Putnam373461
Wabash362383
Ripley347370
Adams345555
Jefferson336186
White332753
Daviess3035100
Wells295481
Decatur289892
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey274335
LaGrange273272
Scott270356
Clay267148
Washington246336
Randolph245183
Jennings235349
Spencer234531
Starke228159
Fountain222048
Sullivan214843
Owen212358
Fulton204043
Jay201032
Carroll193820
Orange188255
Perry187237
Rush175926
Vermillion175344
Franklin170435
Tipton166646
Parke149616
Pike138334
Blackford136232
Pulaski120847
Newton114936
Brown104443
Benton102614
Crawford102516
Martin91815
Warren84115
Switzerland8158
Union72810
Ohio57911
Unassigned0424