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Bracing for COVID-19 surge, Franciscan Health continues elective surgery restriction

A record high number of patients
Posted at 8:16 PM, Jan 04, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS —"We're still experiencing record high numbers of COVID-19 inpatients,” said Dr. Christopher Doehring, Vice President of Medical Affairs for Franciscan Health Central Indiana.

Dr. Doehring says they were hoping for a decrease in patients during the holidays, but that didn’t happen. The numbers have remained high for the past several weeks, with anywhere between 100 and 115 COVID-19 inpatients.

“To put that into context, back in the first surge, our highest number of total inpatients was 47 at any one time. So we’ve been well above double that for the past several weeks,” said Dr. Doehring.

That’s why there is concern about any surge in patients following holiday gatherings. Right now capacity is very limited at Franciscan. “Our critical care capacity has been running at its limit now for several weeks,” said Dr. Doehring.

Governor Holcomb lifted an executive order last week that had paused non-emergent surgeries. However, Franciscan is continuing with the restriction on their own for the next two weeks. Dr. Doehring says this is to keep doctors and nurses ready to handle any additional patients that come through their doors due to a post-holiday surge.