Health leaders warning states to prepare for maximum hospital capacity

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(Photo supplied/ABC 57)

If you have to go to the hospital, you can probably get a bed. But, it may not stay that way. Indiana is the second highest in the country, per capita, for hospitalizations. The White House Coronavirus Task Force warned all states this week that many more people may end up crowding hospitals after the Thanksgiving holiday effect on coronavirus becomes apparent.

“The national daily COVID incidence after Memorial Day, but before the summer surge, was fewer than 25,000 new cases/day and is now more than 180,000 new cases/day; COVID inpatients then were fewer than 30,000 but are now more than 90,000; fatalities have more than doubled,” said the report.

“We are in a very dangerous place due to the current, extremely high COVID baseline and limited hospital capacity; a further post-Thanksgiving surge will compromise COVID patient care, as well as medical care overall.”

This week just under one quarter of the state’s ICU beds were available. About 45 percent of the beds were in use by COVID patients, said the Indiana Dept. of Health website.

The Coronavirus Task Force, is asking public health authrotities, like state health officers, to bypass whatever the state is doing, if it is not strong enough.

“If state and local policies do not reflect the seriousness of the current situation, all public health officials must alert the state population directly,” said the report.

Indiana has a state-wide mask mandate, and is asking counties to enforce limits on gatherings and restaurant capacity, based on the county needs.

“It must be made clear that if you are over 65 or have significant health conditions, you should not enter any indoor public spaces where anyone is unmasked due to the immediate risk to your health; you should have groceries and medications delivered,” advised the report.

Dr. Deborah Birx advised anyone who traveled for Thanksgiving and who had a gathering with anyone beyond their immediate family, to assume they have been infected.

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