Elkhart County COVID-19 cases 11-23-2020

Two hundred ninety cases of COVID-19 were reported in Elkhart County on Monday. The seven-day average is 303 cases per day.

GOSHEN — Goshen Hospital on Monday reported 57 COVID-19 inpatients, an all-time high.

The high number of COVID-19 patients is having a serious impact on the hospital’s ability to treat others. In 2019, the average number of total inpatients at any given time was 56, but Monday, the hospital had 90 inpatients. Goshen Hospital had to cancel several surgeries Monday and more for later this week because of a shortage of beds, hospital officials said.

“The situation is critical. The people of our community cannot afford to have our hospital focused completely on the needs of COVID-19 patients at the expense of other necessary procedures and surgeries,” Dr. Dan Nafziger, Goshen Hospital chief medical officer and infectious disease specialist, said in a release.

Nafziger asked the community to review Thanksgiving plans to reduce everyone’s risk.

“Our intensive care unit beds are full. We have had to send some patients who need intensive care to other facilities – and we may not have this option for long, as they are also filling up,” he said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends making Thanksgiving celebrations virtual. It is recommended that those who do visit other households bring their own food, drinks and plates and utensils and wear a mask when not eating. According to the CDC, it is best to keep such celebrations small and outside.

Elkhart General Hospital also continues to see a high number of COVID-19 inpatients, with 83 as of Monday. The hospital’s normal capacity is 144 total inpatients, but that was surpassed weeks ago, and there are now 192 total inpatients at the hospital. Staff members are working long hours to care for the many patients, even as Elkhart General is also canceling elective procedures.

The Indiana State Department of Health reported 290 new COVID-19 infections in Elkhart County on Monday. The seven-day average is at 303 per day, down from the all-time high of 328 that was set on Nov. 17. The seven-day average remains more than 10 times higher than it was on Sept. 10, just before the surge began.

Another three Elkhart County residents have died from COVID-19, according to ISDH, bringing the county’s total deaths from the virus to 212. Seventy-four of those deaths occurred in the last 30 days. With 60 COVID-19 deaths so far in November, this month has surpassed October with its 36 COVID-19 deaths as Elkhart County’s deadliest month of the pandemic.

Seniors continue to be the most affected by COVID-19, as 93.9 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in Elkhart County were 60 or older. The county recorded its first death of a resident between ages 20 and 29 this month.

Gatherings in Elkhart County are limited to 25 people under an executive order by Gov. Eric Holcomb. The Elkhart County Health Department is enforcing local orders that, among other things, require mask wearing in public. Businesses can be fined and even shut down for failing to follow the public health orders.

Follow Rasmus S. Jorgensen on Twitter at @ReadRasmus

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