NewsHealth / March 26, 2020

Indiana Not Detailing ICU Capacity As Coronavirus Cases Grow

A highway sign in Carmel urges resident to stay home as the state ordered residents to remain at home except for essential activities to slow the spread of COVID-19, Wednesday, March 25, 2020. - AP Photo/Michael Conroy

A highway sign in Carmel urges resident to stay home as the state ordered residents to remain at home except for essential activities to slow the spread of COVID-19, Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

AP Photo/Michael Conroy
TOM DAVIES and RICK CALLAHAN - Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana health officials declined Wednesday to provide details on hospital capacity around the state as its number of confirmed coronavirus-related illnesses continued to grow quickly.

Dr. Kristina Box, the state health commissioner, cited confidentiality arrangements with hospitals for not releasing details about intensive care unit capacity and equipment availability around the state. She said she’s seeing “positive movements” in availability of ICU beds and ventilators.

“Because everybody is stepping up to the plate and trying to pretty much double their ICU capacity, I’m seeing those numbers increase as we go along,” Box said.

In contrast, Illinois officials have provided updates such as the number of occupied hospital beds and ventilators in use around the state and projections on what medical services will be needed if the virus outbreak isn’t contained.

Box said the state health department received several truckloads of medical worker protection items such as masks, face shields and gowns this week and was distributing it to hospitals and county health officials.

When asked whether the state had a two-week supply of such items available, Box replied: “We are better off than that, I can guarantee you. I’ve got many hospitals and local health departments that haven’t even yet asked for their allotment.”

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