Coronavirus Update: March 24, 2020

Covid 19: 41,000 new cases were reported worldwide yesterday, with more than 10,000 of those in the U.S.  As of this morning, Indiana has had a total of 259 Cases in 51 Counties and (4 in Hancock County) and 7 deaths (one in Hancock County); nearly 2,000 have been tested.

Current projections indicate Indiana will hit the surge of COVID-19 positive patients in mid-April so we are taking advantage of this time to continue our preparations:

  • The Hancock Covid Triage hotline 317​.​325​.​2683 (COVD) is being staffed 24/7 by an exceptional team
  • The Hancock Covid Triage clinic continues to hone its processes
  • Work to retrofit the Reflections unit to our first COVID care unit should be completed in the next several days and we will begin to stock it, staff it, and play out different operational scenarios as we prepare for the influx of patients to come.
  • We are actively working on additional steps to expand our ability to take care of the potential influx of patients and are examining on-campus and off-campus options – more to come on these plans later this week.
  • We anticipate a reduction in access for visitors to all hospitals by the end of the week and are ironing out the process to provide “virtual visitation” to those who do not have the capability on their phones.  It is a good time for all of us to brush up on our ability to continue our relationships in the virtual environment as we practice “social distancing”, which is actually “physical distancing” since continuing our social relationships is even more important during these difficult times.
  • In an attempt to reduce unnecessary traffic in the main hospital, outpatient labs are being funneled to our offices at Parkway (behind the hospital) or our new Gateway campus.  Imaging services are available at Parkway, Gateway, and McCordsville.
  • Conservation of PPE continues to be critical as supplies throughout the country run low.  We are blessed to be finding new avenues to find additional PPE and for a very generous community as well who are finding and bringing in additional supplies.  Just today, our friends at Avery Dennison donated several thousand N95 masks and nitrile gloves uses in manufacturing to our cause. Not only will this donation assist us, but we will ensure our long term care partners in the area are helped as well since they appear in desperate need of supplies.   Should you have folks in the community who would like to donate to the cause, please have them contact Nancy Davis at ndavis@hancockregional.org.
  • We are developing a temporary transportation team to help our patients make it to their health care appointments since other transportation options are closing for a while.  We are thankful for our community partners at Dellen and Inskeep for their support of this endeavor.  If you have patients that need transportation assistance, please contact Amanda Everidge at Aeveridge@hancockregional.org.
  • Many thanks to Ty Hunt and the entire Food & Nutrition team for developing the Hancock Health Mini Market in the cafeteria dining area.  This is an amazing resource and we are already receiving calls from other hospitals asking how they can duplicate our efforts.

As we enter this new phase of our fight against the Coronavirus, there will be a tendency toward isolating ourselves socially as well as physically. As I was reminded yesterday, there are ways to be “relationally close” while “physically distant”. Even if you can’t spend physical time with them, dial up your family and your friends and speak “face-to-face” with them on your phone. Do what my daughters do (one lives in Texas) when they spend time “together”: video chat; play video games over the Internet; watch the same move at the same time (there is an app for that); share recipes and cook the meal “together”; binge-watch something on Netflix then FaceTime your thoughts about it; or play a board game on your phone with a friend (there ‘s an app for that too).

If you find yourself with extra time while we wait for the storm to hit, you may end up surfing the Internet to try and better understanding what is happening in the world.  If you, like me, are concerned with the barrage of misinformation on the Internet and are wondering what sources are trustworthy, I would recommend the following:

http://www.hancockregionalhospital.org/coronavirus/
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
https://coronavirus.in.gov/
https://www.facebook.com/hancockemergencymanagement?_rdc=1&_rdr
https://www.facebook.com/Hancock-County-Health-Department-522151201133810/

If you are interested in tracking the growth of the disease then I would recommend the CDC and ISDH websites as well as the following:
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

Please continue to take opportunities to refresh during a period of low census – it is quite likely we will become very busy in the weeks to come so it will be important to head into that time as fresh as we can be.

All the Best,
Steve