The Indiana Hospital Association on Tuesday said the recent surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations is putting a strain on the health care system, and it pleaded with Hoosiers to get vaccinated.
“We urge all eligible Hoosiers who have not yet received a vaccine to do so immediately,” said IHA President Brian Tabor in a written statement. “Not only will it dramatically reduce your own risk of serious illness, you will be far less likely to take a hospital bed away from a family member, friend, or neighbor.”
The IHA—a trade association for more than 170 acute care, critical access, behavioral health and other specialized hospitals in Indiana—said IHA-member facilities are using “evidence-based criteria to prioritize and, when necessary, reschedule non-emergent procedures” because they are dealing with space limitations due to COVID-19 patients.
Statewide hospitalizations due to COVID-19 rose from 1,462 on Sunday to 1,517 on Monday, the largest number since Feb. 3, according to the Indiana Department of Health. Hospitalizations have increased 288% since July 4.
Tabor said the situation could be avoided if people would just get vaccinated.
According to state health officials, 766 people were admitted to an Indiana hospital with COVID-19 in the first week of August. Of those, 758 were unvaccinated. The same week, 137 people with COVID-19 were admitted to the hospitals’ intensive care units. All of them were unvaccinated.
Since January, 98% of COVID-19 hospitalizations have occurred among unvaccinated patients, the IHA said.
Tabor said most hospitals are handling the situation, but things are getting worse.
“Hoosiers should feel confident that Indiana’s hospitals are managing through the current situation by collaborating with one another and the state of Indiana,” he said. “However, should the current trends continue, everyone in need of health care could be impacted. We can avoid this easily—please get vaccinated today and encourage your loved ones to do the same.”
About 45% of Indiana’s 16-and-over population isn’t fully vaccinated, according to the state health department.