The vast majority of COVID-19 hospitalizations at both Parkview Health and Lutheran Health Network involve unvaccinated patients, the two health systems said Friday.
Parkview said about 90% of its COVID-19 hospitalizations are unvaccinated patients, while Lutheran Health Network said 78% of its pandemic-related hospitalizations involve the unvaccinated.
Parkview said hospitalizations and patient volume at regional clinics have increased significantly because of COVID-19.
Parkview emergency departments and walk-in clinics are experiencing longer-than-normal wait times. About 1 in 5 Parkview emergency department patients is COVID-positive, the health system said.
“Amidst a nationwide shortage of health care workers, staffing is a critical resource and will limit capacity at all levels of care,” Parkview said in a statement.
“Therefore, proper utilization of health care resources is key to maintaining operations.”
State and local officials have encouraged vaccinations.
All individuals ages 12 and older can get free vaccines. Go to ourshot.in.gov for a list of vaccination sites.
Parkview Health said it is in the process of re-establishing the Mirro Center for Research and Innovation as a mass vaccination location in anticipation of the authorization of COVID-19 booster vaccines.
Parkview said more information and details about hours of operation will be shared later.
The Indiana Department of Health confirmed 5,476 new COVID-19 cases and 22 more deaths Friday, bringing the total number of cases to 899,844.
To date, 14,330 Hoosiers are confirmed to have died from COVID-19. An additional 453 probable deaths have been reported to date based on clinical diagnoses in patients for whom no positive test is on record.
In Allen County, 294 residents tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total to 51,458 cases. One death was reported in the county, bringing the total number of deaths to 735 since the pandemic began, the county health department said.
Parkview urged area residents to follow guidance from the CDC, including wearing face coverings in indoor public settings, social distancing and getting vaccinated.
Parkview is asking that people who think they have COVID symptoms or have been exposed to contact their health care providers to determine the next steps.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a free online Coronavirus Self-Checker, which can help assess individual situations and determine if patients should be tested and/or seek care.
Holcomb criticizes Biden mandate
Gov. Eric Holcomb on Friday criticized President Biden for mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for employers with more than 100 staff members.
“I believe the vaccine is the No. 1 tool that will protect us and our loved ones against COVID-19,” Holcomb said. “It is the tool that will end the pandemic. However, I strongly believe it's not the state or federal government's role to issue a vaccine mandate upon citizens and private businesses. This is the approach our administration has taken all along. The announcement from President Biden is a bridge too far. Private businesses should be able to look at their own mission, their staff and their goals and make the decision best for them that will keep their doors open.”