Record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Elkhart County

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. (NIAID-RML)

A record number of new COVID-19 infections were reported late last week in Elkhart County, along with a record number of hospitalizations.

The number of COVID patients admitted was 104, with 35 at Goshen Hospital and 69 at Elkhart General. Hospital officials say the rising number of hospitalizations is putting pressure on staff and is now causing elective procedures to be postponed.

The Elkhart Truth reports the number of Elkhart County residents getting tested hit an all-time high in the seven-day average, at just over 500, at the end of last month.

Elkhart County Health Officer Dr. Lydia Mertz said the numbers continue to trend in the wrong direction.

COVID-19 numbers have reached record levels at Goshen Health Hosptial, which issued the following news release on Monday, Nov. 9:

There are 44 patients on the COVID-19 unit at Goshen Health, 41 who have tested positive and three who are awaiting test results.

“Today is the most dangerous day of the epidemic so far for catching the coronavirus in Elkhart County. Over half the patients in our hospital are in isolation and the total number of patients in the hospital is at record levels,” said Dr. Dan Nafziger, Goshen Hospital Chief Medical Officer and Infectious Disease Specialist. “Some patients who need important surgeries are having their procedures delayed because COVID-19 patients are filling our intensive care unit beds. We’ve had to transfer some patients because we didn’t have enough beds. People who are sick still need to be able to come to our hospital if they need care.”

Dr. Nafziger continued, “Please, please wear a mask when indoors even at home if people outside your household or “pandemic bubble” are present. Speak up if leaders of your church or social group want to meet indoors. There was promising news about a vaccine announced today, but it will still require all of us to work together until it is widely available. Stay home if you can, wear a mask if you can’t and do your best to protect your friends and family.”

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