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IU Health staff stressed and tired as they see rise in COVID-19 cases

Posted at 10:55 AM, Nov 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-06 12:21:20-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The state continues to report record cases and hospitalizations.

Wednesday's update from the Indiana State Department of Health shows 4,462 new positive cases between October 23 and Wednesday.

The state also set a new high for hospitalizations with 1,948.

Remember — those are people, not numbers. And people are also taking care of those who are suffering.

"These patients are dying alone in the hospital at times, which is very difficult for our staff. There is a lot of tough conversations that we have to have," Dr. Mark Luetkemeyer, IU Health Methodist's chief medical officer, said.

Dr. Luetkemeyer says the current state of things is difficult because there seems to be more of a disconnect about the severity of the virus compared to the first wave.

Hospitals are also facing staffing shortages, while current workers are fatigued.

"That is what I worry about from a burnout and from a wellness standpoint, is that we can keep up the pace for a short period of time, much harder to do that over a long run and this marathon just hasn't stopped," Dr. Luetkemeyer told WRTV.

"If you think about the life of a hospital, it cycles throughout the year. Sometimes you are busy, sometimes you are not as busy," Dr. Luetkemeyer continued. "We know respiratory viral season in the wintertime; we are prepared to be busy, sometimes during the summer months, you have some time to take some time away to recoup and refresh. We didn't have that opportunity this year."

Dr. Luetkemeyer stresses that you can help ease the strain on hospitals — and help save lives — by simply wearing a mask, social distancing, and avoiding social gatherings.

MORE | IU Health hosts statewide hiring event to fill hundreds of critical jobs |