Coronavirus Update: April 16, 2020

Today was another interesting day nationally and regionally in the fight against COVID-19.  At the federal level, the President’s coronavirus task force issued guidelines for re-opening America (attached).  Here in Indiana, the Governor indicated that the “stay at home” order will likely be extended past the end of April and we expect his formal announcement sometime tomorrow.  In addition, the Governors of seven midwestern states, including Indiana, announced an agreement to coordinate efforts to re-open the economy on a regional level to ensure the right balance between safety and economic revitalization.

As I pen this update, the world is nearing 2.2 million people infected with the virus and more than 145,000 deaths.  The U.S. has nearly 700,000 cases and 35,00 deaths.  Indiana is at 9,500 cases with 477 deaths.  On a positive note, the growth in new cases in central Indiana has stabilized and appears to be on a downward trajectory and the impact on hospital occupancy has diminished significantly over the last week.  The statistics over the next few days will give us a much better idea of where things might go in the next few weeks.

As you speak with friends and family, please encourage them to see their doctor and utilize the emergency room if they have a medical issue.  We are hearing an increasing number of reports locally, and across the state, that people are afraid to go to the doctor, call an ambulance, or visit a hospital even if they are experiencing severe symptoms of heart attack, stroke, and injuries, for fear they will be exposed to the disease.  Please let them know this is not the case and hospitals, physicians, and first-responders remain available and ready to help them at any time.

If you have not yet had a chance to view it, please take a moment and catch the third video for the community that we created over the weekend:

https://vimeo.com/407154579

  • The Hancock Triage Clinic, Hancock COVID Triage hotline (317-325-2683 (COVD), and nurse@hancockregional.org lines continue to provide needed service to the community during this time.
  • Remember, the HPN offices remain open, though most of the visits are virtual (telephonic or video-based), so if you need to see your doctor, please call their office.
  • Work to retrofit the Reflections unit to our first COVID unit is complete.  The second floor of the Gateway facility has been converted for use as a 50 bed expansion unit in case we need it (and we pray we do not).
  • The end of in-person patient visitation has gone well and we have used the e-visitation system to great effect a few times.  We have revised the policy in relation to deaths and births – please ask your department director for more details.  Learn more on e-visitation at https://www.hancockregionalhospital.org/2020/03/friends-or-family-in-the-hospital-e-visit/
  • 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 have developed a temporary transportation team and a food delivery team to help our patients to receive food items and 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.
  • We have made arrangements with Fairfield Inn to house hospital associates and medical staff, as well as first-responders in the community, who need temporary housing if they are concerned about carrying the virus home with them. Our efforts are being coordinated by Gretchen Pike and Amanda Everidge and Hancock Health is covering the cost of these rooms and additional information.  Please contact you department director for additional information.

All the Best,
Steve