Indiana has received enough masks, gowns, gloves and other personal protective equipment from the Strategic National Stockpile to last another 13 days, state officials said Monday.
State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box urged local manufacturers to help keep supplies up by producing additional protective gear for the state’s hospitals and nursing homes.
“If your business has the ability to make these products, then fire up the lines because we’re ready for it,” she said, outlining the state’s preparations to fight the surge of COVID-19 patients.
Indiana received its third and final shipment from the federal government last week, and already has dispersed about 80% of it to hospitals, emergency responders, nursing homes and local health departments.
But that doesn’t mean hospitals will completely run out of equipment in two weeks, Box said. Many hospitals and nursing homes are continuing to receive supplies from their vendors, though some report that quantities in those deliveries are decreasing.
The 13-day estimate is based on the assumption that Indiana hospitals, nursing homes and other health providers would conserve as much as possible. But even so, she said, they still need 50,000 masks a day to deal with the pandemic.
Indiana officials have said they expect the surge in COVID-19 patients to peak between mid-April and early May. A big supply disruption could leave doctors and nurses with not enough protective equipment when patient counts are highest.
The most recent shipment from the federal government included about 113,000 surgical gowns, 186,000 N95 masks, 186,000 surgical masks, 96,000 face shields, 295,000 gloves and 2,300 coveralls. Box said that many organizations have made or donated medical supplies to the state in recent weeks, but the need remains great.
According to Box, about 1,000 people across Indiana are currently hospitalized with COVID-like symptoms.
The supply of ventilators and intensive care unit beds has been growing in recent weeks. As of Monday, Indiana hospitals had 2,642 ventilators “available and actually in our hospital systems,” she said, more than double the 1,177 on hand on March 1. Another 455 ventilators have been identified “for possible use if needed,” she said.
Of the current supply, about 27% are in use in hospitals—with 17% being used by COVID patients.
Box said that Indiana hospitals more than doubled their inventory of ICU beds between March 1 and April 4—from 1,132 to 2,964. “Our hospitals have done such an incredible job of converting every possible room into an ICU room,” she said.
As of Monday, 58% of the ICU beds in Indiana are occupied—31% of them by COVID patients, she said.