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Increasing number of COVID-19 cases puts the pressure back on hospitals

Indiana hospitals are now treating just as many COVID-19 patients as they did five months ago.

INDIANAPOLIS — Thursday was another record-setting day for COVID-19 cases in Indiana — more than 2,800. The number of Hoosiers hospitalized by the virus climbed to over 1,500.

Indiana hospitals are now treating just as many COVID-19 patients as they did five months ago. The numbers are rising, but there is less fear and anxiety.

"We know a lot more than we did in March, how it acts and how it's treated," Dr. Graham Carlos, chief of medicine at Eskenazi Hospital, said. 

Eskenazi Hospital has treated about 1,000 COVID patients since the pandemic started. During that time, according to Carlos, the hospital stockpiled PPE, refined staffing and safety plans and determined which treatments work best or not at all.

"We are able to plan and get ahead of this much better than we were in the Spring," Carlos said.

"IU Health, we are busy. We are not as busy as the peak of COVID back in April," Chief Quality and Safety Officer at IU Health Michele Saysana said. 

According to Saysana, unlike April when the majority of COVID outbreaks were in large urban areas, more patients are now in smaller cities and rural areas. 

"What we are seeing is communities who didn't have it...have it now," she said. 

Public health officials are worried about "pandemic fatigue." That's when people stop taking the ongoing threat seriously and let down their guard.

Wednesday, the state health department's chief medical officer sounded the alarm for health care workers.

"They are exhausted," Dr. Lindsay Weaver, chief medical officer at ISDH, said. "They have been running a marathon at a sprint's pace for eight months." 

Both Carlos and Saysana have seen it. 

"We'll be prepared," Carlos said. "I expect the best of people to come out, step up and step in to help should the surge occur again."

A state sick and tired of COVID-19 is counting on it.

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