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'This is really a capacity concern if not a crisis': Indiana Hospital Association discusses COVID surge

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Posted at 11:57 PM, Dec 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-17 23:57:50-05

INDIANAPOLIS — INDIANAPOLIS — As coronavirus cases continue to climb with thousands of new cases reported daily, health officials say hospitals are seeing more patients than they have room for.

"We have never had this many patients in our hospitals in Indiana before," said Indiana Hospital Association President Brian Tabor. "It looks like we are going to soon match or surpass the greatest number of COVID patients we have had throughout the hospital."

Tabor says nearly 12,000 Hoosiers are in the hospital daily and around 3,000 of those are COVID patients.

"There are a lot of sick Hoosiers right now that need care. The pandemic has taken a toll on people's health: on their mental health [and] on their physical health and that's what we are struggling to keep up with is people who have heart conditions and behavioral health issues. Emergency rooms are busy," he said.

Healthcare workers are tired and facing what Tabor says is the biggest surge of patients the state has ever seen.

"It's not just about COVID; this is really a capacity concern if not a crisis," he said.

Tabor says rural and metro hospitals will be strained at least for the next 3 to 4 weeks.

"During months where an ice storm can cause slips and falls and accidents, it's going to be very challenging to handle that right now," said Tabor.

Indianapolis has loosened restrictions and hosted several major sporting and other events this year bringing crowds from all over the country.

"It's been busy during a lot of tourism events that's been happening throughout Indianapolis. It's a great showcase of the city and all of the things we have here [at the Garage]," said Lick Ice Cream employee, Rechelle.

Rechelle says the influx of people boosted much needed revenue for many local businesses.

While there is a health concern at large events, Tabor says 95% of hospitalized COVID patients are unvaccinated.

Tabor says implementing restrictions again is not on the horizon and he is encouraging Hoosiers to wear masks and get vaccinated.

"I think that's all we can do at this point to continue to just support our business and follow what we are told," said Rechelle.

WRTV has reached out to the Marion County Public Health Department numerous times for an update on this crisis. We will continue to follow this story and update you when more information becomes available.

MORE: ‘We need to be cautious’ : COVID-19 continues surge in Central Indiana | IU Health caring for 'all-time' high number of COVID-19 patients | Contract tracing continues as COVID cases rise and events happen | 'Things do not look good at all': COVID-19 surge is straining Indiana hospitals