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Hospital CEO sees light at end of pandemic tunnel

Hospital CEO sees light at end of pandemic tunnel Hospital CEO sees light at end of pandemic tunnel
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]

The CEO of Harrison County Hospital in Corydon is optimistic that the county is finally beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Steve Taylor told the hospital board during its meeting Thursday afternoon the infection control group that began meeting this time last year to go over strategies to tackle the virus in the county is now meeting three to four times a week and has been working to minimize the frequency of those meetings based on the health of the hospital.

Taylor was happy to announce that in the coming weeks the meetings should begin to occur bi-weekly, which, to him, is a good sign.

The number of positive cases of the virus increased by 58 in the past week, to 4,160, while an additional 262 tests were performed, bringing the number of people in the county tested for the virus to 18,622.

Harrison County health officials said 72 residents have died from the virus, which includes two clinical deaths (a clinical death is where the person is believed to have died from the virus but no test was performed to confirm).

One positive in Taylor’s mind that has come from the pandemic was the creation of an infectious disease area in the hospital, which can be isolated and closed off from other areas to contain any virus or contagion.

Taylor also said that during the past year policies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were changing nearly daily, and he could not be more proud of his team for the way they have stepped up to take on anything it was thrown.

Harrison County remains a yellow zone, the second lowest of the four zones, in terms of the positivity rate for the virus. It is one of 27 counties designated yellow; the state’s remaining 65 counties are blue, the lowest zone.

Since last week, 1,164 more Harrison Countians received their first dose of the COVID vaccine, bringing the total to 10,115. A total of 6,122 residents are now fully vaccinated, up 277 from the previous week.

The eligibility age for the vaccine has been lowered to 40. Locally, vaccinations continue to be given, by appointment only, at First Capital Christian Church in Corydon. To schedule an appointment, go online to https://ourshot.in.gov. Those who need assistance can call 1-866-211-9966.

During the hospital’s finance report, it was noted that HCH is still down in revenue overall, about 12% below where it was this time last year. Emergency room volume was down by approximately 28%, and surgeries were down about 25% from last year.

HCH spent about $2.75 million from funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act in the past year but costs have been reasonably controlled.

Taylor said the hospital continues to work with Norton Healthcare, which has provided excellent consultation and advice on infection control and supplemental coverages as well.

Statewide, 1,469,362 Hoosiers have received their first vaccine, up 139,015 from last week. A total of 970,161 Hoosiers are fully vaccinated, an increase of 117,978 in the past week.

Since last week, an additional 67 Hoosiers have died from the virus, bringing the total to 12,533.

The number of tests performed statewide reached 8,681,198, up 197,340 since the week before. An additional 5,551 positive results were reported, bringing the total number of positive cases since last March to 679,079.

For the most up-to-date information about the virus in Indiana, visit the Indiana State Dept. of Health’s website, https://in.gov/coronavirus.

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