Make your home page

Indiana hospitals see increase in COVID-19 patients; nearly all are unvaccinated

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana hospitals are seeing an increase in the number of COVID-19 patients and according to two of them, the majority of these patients are young and unvaccinated.

The increase coincides with the surge of the delta variant of COVID-19. According to Dr. John Christenson, from Riley Hospital for Children, more than 80% to 90% of COVID-19 infections in Indiana are now caused by the delta variant. Both Eskenazi Health and IU Health say the increase in COVID-19 patients is alarming.

“We are seeing enough patients that we’re calling this a fourth of a fifth surge,” Eskenazi Health Dr. W. Graham Carlos said.

“People in their 30s up through their 50s represent a large portion of those patients,” Carlos said.

According to the state health department on Friday, Aug. 13, there were 1,433 people hospitalized with COVID-19. That’s a major increase from just over a month ago when the state was only reporting 369 COVID-19 hospitalizations on June 24. This time last year, there were slightly more than 900 people hospitalized due to COVID-19.

Carlos says they’re now looking at increasing capacity. He says that even though they’re better equipped to handle a potential flood of coronavirus patients, there’s still no cure for the virus.

“The scary thing is that sometimes in spite of all those things we know to do people still get deathly ill,” Carlos said.

IU Health Dr. Nicolas Barros says they’re also treating more COVID-19 patients and virtually all of them are unvaccinated. He says right now they have enough ventilators and beds to treat patients.

“That is not a major concern at this point. However, it is always something important to consider if this keeps going up,” Barros said.

Kids are not immune to COVID-19, and those under 12 are not yet eligible for the vaccine. Riley Hospital for Children says they’re seeing an increase in kids with COVID-19 in their emergency room. Overall, Carlos is encouraging people to get their shots and to show support for healthcare workers.

“Everybody is wanting and trying to do their very best to take care of all of our state so please encourage them because I think we’re in for some difficult days ahead yet again,” Carlos said.

IU Health also says there are 199 confirmed cases in IU Health hospitals. That’s up from 106 confirmed cases in May.