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Some rural hospitals struggling, others still anticipating surge

Some hospitals are at capacity
Posted at 6:00 PM, Nov 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-11 22:48:54-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Rural hospitals in Indiana are seeing an increase in COVID-19 patients. Some are reaching record levels while others have yet to see the surge.

Goshen Hospital in Richmond released a statement earlier this week. The hospital reaching record levels for COVID-19 patients. Currently, there are 44 patients in its COVID-19 unit.

Columbus Regional Health and Schneck Medical Center, located in Seymour released a joint statement with an advisory as inpatient demand remains high at both facilities.

But some rural hospitals have not yet reached their breaking point, however, they are preparing for it right now.

“We’ve seen an increase recently in the number of COVID patients,” Larry Bailey, president of IU Health Paoli Hospital, said.

The rural facility serves a large area including Orange, Martin, and Crawford counties.

Currently, IU Health Paoli Hospital has 3 COVID patients, but Bailey says that can change in an instant.

“In our emergency department, we have patients showing up every day with COVID or COVID like symptoms,” Bailey said.

The hospital’s capacity is 25 beds, similar to many of the rural hospitals in Indiana.

Bailey says they do have a major benefit, being part of a large healthcare system like IU Health.

“So we are able to call on resources outside of our own hospital within the region, we don’t have to do this a lot, but we can transfer patients to other IU health facilities if needed to make rooms available for patients,” Bailey said.

So while some hospitals are struggling, Bailey knows he can depend on a large network if his facility starts to reach capacity.