Coronavirus Update: March 30, 2020

On Friday, the U.S. took on the unfortunate role of leading the world in COVID-19 cases, and just two days later we have nearly doubled that number. In the next several days, the number of cases worldwide will reach the one million mark and the US will make up ¼ of this number. It is likely that the number of cases in Indiana will surpass 2,000 tomorrow, with 28 of those already being in Hancock County and more than 40 tests still outstanding. There is one ray of hope in the numbers though, and it is that the number of new cases reported on Sunday was just slightly below the number reported on Saturday. One day does not make a trend, but it was a glimmer of light. If you have not seen it yet, I encourage you to take a look at the recent update video that provides perspective on the situation: https://vimeo.com/402013964

You may have noticed that the President extended the national advisory for social distancing to the first of May and indicated that this may move to the first of June. The fact that the Indy 500 was moved from Memorial Day weekend to August 23rd is a signal that the leaders in Indiana agree with this assessment as well. In addition, the Governor today announced new directives to the healthcare industry aimed at loosening restrictions on developing new temporary sites of care, expanding the use of telemedicine, expanding abilities to write prescriptions, and encouraging retired healthcare workers to be ready to volunteer for a return to duty if needed. Of interest, he mentioned that the surge in patients is expected from mid-April to mid-May and noted the need to expand hospital capacity greatly in the next few weeks.

On Tuesday night (March 31) at 6:30 PM, many members of Realife Church here in Greenfield have asked to pray for us. Many people will be coming to our campus and will park on the top level of the parking garage, in the parking lot near the water tower, and perhaps in the corner of the lot out front and will pray (from their cars.) It is an extraordinary example of the devotion the great people of our community have to our organization, but more importantly to our individual calling as health care professionals, and their desire to provide us a covering of prayer as we prepare for the days and weeks to come.

Should your friends and family have questions on the virus, its impact, and the preparations Hancock Health has undertaken, please refer them to our website (http://www.hancockregionalhospital.org/coronavirus/) which has a growing body of resources to help.

  •  The Hancock Triage Clinic and  Hancock Covid Triage hotline (317-325-2683 (COVD) continue to provide needed service to the community during this time.
  • Work to retrofit the Reflections unit to our first COVID care unit is nearly complete and additional surge plans are being finalized that include in-house and off-site locations including our Gateway facility as a last resort.
  • Today was the first day of replacing in-person patient visitation with e-visitation. Learn more at https://www.hancockregionalhospital.org/2020/03/friends-or-family-in-the-hospital-e-visit/.
  • Some hospitals in Indianapolis and surrounding counties are in a yellow or red status for PPE. We are very fortunate to still be in the green. This doesn’t mean we can stop conserving.  Every item we can conserve might mean one more day of PPE for our staff caring for all our patients.
  • We are blessed to be finding new avenues to obtain additional PPE and for a very generous community as well who are finding and bringing in additional 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.  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 – words cannot describe what a wonderful resource this is for our associates!
  • Please take advantage of our Chaplains – Russ Jarvis and Katherine Murray – their calm and hopeful demeanor during this time is even more infectious than the disease!
  • Do your best, prepare for the worst – then trust God for the victory – Proverbs 21:31 (The Message translation)

Blessings,
Steve