January 28, 2022

IU Health shares update on impact of COVID at its hospitals

Indiana University Health says COVID-19 cases continue to be high across the network, but numbers are improving slightly. The Department of Defense will continue to help with staffing at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis until next month. - provided by Indiana University Health

Indiana University Health says COVID-19 cases continue to be high across the network, but numbers are improving slightly. The Department of Defense will continue to help with staffing at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis until next month.

provided by Indiana University Health

Indiana’s largest hospital system says COVID-19 cases continue to be high across the network, but numbers are improving slightly.

COVID-19 hospitalizations are at 567 across Indiana University Health's 16 facilities. That number is down from a peak of 640 cases.  IU Health Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Chris Weaver said the vaccine continues to show effectiveness in keeping people out of intensive care. 

“We see very few cases of the total that are fully vaccinated with boosters,” Weaver said.

About 70 percent of people in the hospitals with COVID are not vaccinated. As of Thursday's update on the Indiana Department of Health's COVID-19 vaccine dashboard, about 3.6 million Hoosiers — or just over 50 percent of the state's population —  are fully vaccinated against the disease.

IU Health said the system's supply of ventilators is plenty, with only half currently being used.

Staffing shortages continue to be an issue. IU Health Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics Dr. Michelle Saysana said fewer staff are being quarantined.

“But that still doesn’t get us to normal staffing patterns that we’d like to be at,” Saysana said.

The Department of Defense will continue to help with staffing at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis until next month. A group of about 20 doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists from the U.S. Navy have been at hospital since late December.

The system is still restricting elective surgeries but plans to bring them back on line in the near future.

Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis currently has 27 COVID patients.

Over the past 30 days, the state's COVID-19 dashboard added nearly 366,000 cases and just over 1,800 confirmed deaths.

Contact WFYI city government and policy reporter Jill Sheridan at jsheridan@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @JillASheridan.

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