Tri-State leaders begging families not to gather this holiday season, stressing, the area's two largest hospital systems are filling up fast with COVID-19 patients.
Leaders from both Deaconess and St. Vincent's joining the area mayors to discuss hospital staffing shortages along with hospital bed capacity in the region. Both healthcare systems say there is a significant increase in COVID-19 patients, with hospitalizations currently three times higher than during the pandemics' previous peak in April.
There are about 10,000 healthcare workers in the Tri-State according to Deaconess CEO Shawn McCoy.
“Yesterday (Wednesday) in Indiana we saw the highest level of inpatient Covid cases, and patients since the pandemic started, for us it is a daily struggle for staffing and that is what I referenced earlier, we are at or near capacity now almost every day, if you’re Covid positive do you have a 9% chance of being hospitalized that is where we really need the public's help,” adds McCoy.
McCoy saying caregivers are simply stressed out. Both hospital systems seeing major staffing issues having to call in doctors and nurses from other regions to cover shifts in Evansville.
“We all understand the desire to be with our family and close friends over a holiday, this is the year to think about whether that is the smart thing to do, we are going to ask our residence to make smart decisions and not emotional decisions,” says Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke.
City leaders fearful the Thanksgiving holiday could push hospitals past their limits. Thanksgiving being the biggest holiday to celebrate to date since March.
Officials saying there is a major concern about the future of our hospitals here in Evansville if people don't follow state guidelines and take them seriously.
Both healthcare systems in Evansville say they have enough capacity to maintain patient care right now. However, if numbers continue to rise, COVID-19 patients could be shipped to other hospitals in major cities nearby due to those staffing issues.