As of Tuesday, Indiana has a total of 2,159 positive cases of COVID-19 and a total of 49 deaths due to the virus. On Monday, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed an executive order and gave detailed plans for an anticipated spike in COVID-19 patients.
“We see a surge coming and we’re calling in the reinforcements, bolstering Indiana’s capacity to provide additional health care services during this emergency,” said Gov. Eric J. Holcomb. “By eliminating licensing barriers and tapping in to the available talent pool of healthcare workers, Hoosiers are staffing up and stepping up to meet this challenge head-on.”
The executive order allows the following professionals who do not currently hold an active license to practice:
- medical professionals who retired or became inactive in the last five years
- medical professionals who hold licenses in other states
- medical professionals who held licenses in other states and retired or became inactive in the last five years
- certain medical students and graduates
If professionals want to help, they must register with the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency via their website at www.in.gov/pla. The medical professionals will be able to assist in screenings, telemedicine and other basic procedures to allow regularly licensed medical professionals to be on the frontline.
The baseline number of critical care hospital beds in Indiana is 1,432 and the baseline number of ventilators is 1,177 ventilators. As of Monday, hospitals have already taken steps to increase the number of critical care hospital beds to 1,940 and have identified another 750 ventilators.
If needed, the state plans to double both these numbers by taking existing noncritical care hospital beds, recovery rooms, operating rooms and outpatient facilities, turning them into critical care hospital beds. They will also be repurposing ventilators from operating rooms, ambulatory care centers, EMS and the Indiana National Guard.
The surge plan also calls for moving less critical patients to alternate facilities including neighborhood hospitals, medical clinics and state-owned hospitals.
If additional steps need to be made after all of these steps are exhausted, the state will be prepared to put patients in alternative facilities. The Indiana National Guard and Department of Homeland Security, in conjunction with FEMA, will be in charge of these plans.