By: Keith Klein (Photo: Indiana Public Media)
The recent local surge in COVID-19 cases has pushed administrators to find ways to make space for new patients at IU Health’s Bloomington hospital.
A month ago in Monroe County, the seven-day average of confirmed new positive COVID-19 cases had settled around 2. That has increased to around 17 at the end of July. Not every positive case requires hospitalization. But those increased numbers have pushed IU Health’s Bloomington facility towards its capacity.
MaryAnn Valenta, Regional Director for Strategic Integration, said the hospital is responding to the recent surge by reducing the number of elective procedures and transferring patients to other hospitals inside and outside the region.
Where they’re transferred is based on “the location that makes the most sense to each patient based on bed capacity.”
Early in the pandemic, Brian Shockney, President of IU Health’s South Central Region, confirmed Bloomington hospital has 272 beds.
Valenta said the hospital cannot put patients who are either COVID-19 positive or pending testing results in the same room with other patients. She added, the new hospital, now under construction in Bloomington has more private rooms to address just such possibilities.
Indianapolis-based Republic Airways has announced workforce reductions due to COVID-19. The airline said nearly 300 employees will be furloughed this fall, the majority of which are pilots and flight attendants.
“These are unprecedented times for the aviation industry, and our partners, for whom Republic operates all its flights, have substantially reduced our flying schedules…” the company said.
The furloughs will begin October 1, though the airline says it is hopeful that it can implement measures over the next several weeks to reduce the number of affected employees.
40 additional employees at the company’s headquarters in Indianapolis will be included.