Hendricks Regional Health employees, patients have high COVID infection rates
By Peg McRoy Glover
Hendricks Regional Health is experiencing the highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and employee infections since the beginning of the pandemic.
As of Jan. 6, HRH President & CEO Kevin Speer reported 51 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, and the hospital is testing about 700 individuals daily. Close to 90 staff members have tested positive, taking them out of the workforce.
All of their 14 intensive care beds were full Jan. 6, and six to eight COVID-19 patients were being cared for in emergency departments at their Danville and Brownsburg hospitals.
Speer asked the staff to narrow medical activity and eliminate procedures not related to the care of the sickest patients.
HRH is continuing to change, modify and review their surgical protocols, evaluating all surgical procedures to avoid unnecessary hospitalizations. They will continue to accommodate necessary medical procedures that require in-patient care.
“We learned from the first go-around when we were told to shut down services that there was a tremendous negative impact on our patients and community,” said Speer. “We are doing everything to avoid that as we move forward. We are in a constant hiring mode right now and in a full-court press to hire and retain folks to provide care for our community.”
Getting vaccinated and boosters remains a priority.
“The omicron variant is very infectious, and being fully vaccinated (with a booster) is not bulletproof,” said Dr. Michelle Fenoughty, senior vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer. “But, we are finding that the people who are fully vaccinated experience less severity in their illness and have lower incidence of hospitalizations and ICU admissions.”
To ease the burden on staff HRH asks those not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms to consider other testing locations.