FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Hospital systems across northeast Indiana continue to be strained amid an ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases.
WANE 15 reached out to Parkview and Lutheran Health about concerns on hospital capacity. Both groups continue to monitor hospital capacity and provide care for those needing immediate attention.
Scroll below for full statements:
The increasing number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and other illness and injuries continues to strain hospitals throughout Lutheran Health Network. Our hospitals have measures in place to manage capacity and continue to provide care for anyone needing immediate medical attention. We are grateful to our dedicated staff for the intense work and focus they are sustaining while maintaining compassionate care for all patients. Precautionary measures do make an impact in reducing virus spread and hospitalizations, so we strongly encourage our community to get vaccinated, wear a mask in public and practice social distancing and frequent handwashing.Spokesperson for Lutheran Health
Lutheran Health also responded to a Supreme Court ruling that struck down a federal vaccine mandate for large employers, while maintaining a mandate for health care employees. A spokesperson told WANE 15 that most healthcare workers are already vaccinated, but Lutheran Health is waiting from further guidance before enforcing a vaccine mandate.
Following today’s Supreme Court decision, we are awaiting updated guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on whether it will proceed with enforcement of the vaccination mandate for healthcare workers. In response to the preliminary injunction of the CMS mandate, our hospitals had paused the requirement that unvaccinated employees initiate the COVID-19 vaccine series or have a religious or medical exemption in place.
The majority of our caregivers already have chosen to be vaccinated and more are choosing to be vaccinated now. We continue to strongly encourage vaccination because it offers the most protection from COVID-19 and emerging new variants.Spokesperson for Lutheran Health
With rapidly rising COVID-19 activity, we are concerned for the health of our community. We are still managing an unprecedented demand for care in our hospitals. Our walk-in clinics and emergency departments also continue to see record high volumes of patients.
Since mid-December, when the region’s COVID-19 hospitalizations were close to record highs, numbers have only slightly decreased. The trend can be seen on the IDOH dashboard for District 3.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Parkview is committed to maintaining operations for patients with COVID-19 and other care needs. Hospital capacity, including ICU capacity, is continually monitored and managed by health system leaders, and all Parkview hospitals continue to accept patients and ambulances.
We need the community to know that vaccines remain the most effective way to reduce the risk of severe illness, hospitalization or death from COVID-19. We strongly encourage vaccination, including booster shots for those who are eligible. The majority of hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 are among the unvaccinated. For more information on COVID-19 vaccination, including answers to frequently asked questions, visit parkview.com/covidvaccine.Spokesperson for Parkview Health