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'Things do not look good at all': COVID-19 surge is straining Indiana hospitals

COVID Community Health
Posted at 2:31 PM, Dec 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-16 14:31:20-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana is experiencing its “worst (COVID-19) surge ever,” a Community Health Network doctor said Thursday.

Dr. Ram Yeleti said in a video provided by Community Health that the hospital network’s beds are at complete capacity.

“So, things do not look good at all, and we all need to band together as Hoosiers, take care of each other,” Yeleti said. “So, take care of yourself, get vaccinated, get boosted and get tested.”

Yeleti's comments came the same day the Indiana General Assembly heard testimony on House Bill 1001, which would restrict the ability of Indiana businesses to require the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce voiced opposition to the bill, which was discussed a week after IU Health requested assistance at most of its hospitals from the Indiana National Guard.

“To greatly discourage and inhibit employers from getting their employees vaccinated to promote health and safety within their workplaces — at a time when there are surging infections, hospitalizations and deaths as the Omicron variant has emerged — is simply the wrong policy in our view," Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar said in a written statement.

On Thursday, the Indiana Department of Health reported that 3,029 Hoosiers are in the hospital with COVID-19, along with 55 more deaths related to the virus and 5,458 new cases.

Hospitalization numbers are nearing what they were during the late-2020 peak. The toll of the virus, Yeleti said, is putting hospitals in a difficult situation.

“All of our hospitals, all Indianapolis hospitals, are actually over-capacity,” Yeleti said. “We’re actually having more patients in our hospitals than we have beds. We’re holding patients in our emergency rooms trying to find beds for them and we’ve had to delay several surgeries.”