A numerical tally of specific hospital resources that are available to treat Indiana’s COVID-19 patients is not information that state health officials are eager to provide.
When asked at the daily press briefing on Thursday, for the number of ventilators and intensive care unit (ICU) beds that are available, Kristina Box, the state’s health commissioner, declined to say. She cited the confidentiality that hospitals expect when they submit their information to the state.
The question was again rebuffed at Friday’s briefing. On both days, there was some hint that a breakdown of aggregated region-by-region numbers could made available, so that the resources available at a specific hospital would not be revealed.
Shelli Yoder, who’s vying with John Zody and Trent Feuerbach for the Democratic Party’s nomination in the race for the District 40 state senate seat, issued a press release on Saturday morning calling on Indiana’s governor, Eric Holcomb, to release the numbers. The press release says Yoder has sent a letter to the governor that among other things states:
The people of Monroe County are demanding to know:
(1) How many critical care beds do we have available?
(2) How many ventilators do we have available?
(3) What types of healthcare equipment to keep our medical professionals and
frontline responders safe do we have available?
The push for more information comes as the number of cases continues to climb. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Indiana has about doubled (x 1.9) in two days, from 645 on March 26 to 1,232 on Saturday, March 28. The number of tests has increased by a similar factor, for the same period, from 4,651 to 8,407.
In the same two-day period, the number of Hoosiers killed by COVID-19 almost doubled, from 17 to 31.