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“Dramatic increase” in local COVID-19 hospitalizations lead health officials to again urge vaccine

Allen County Department of Health COVID-19
Allen County Department of Health COVID-19(WPTA)
Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 1:28 PM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - Amid a steady increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations and positive cases, the county’s top doctor and area health leaders are encouraging the community to follow COVID-19 precautions.

The Allen County Department of Health said local hospitals have seen spikes in COVID-19 patients, leading health experts to urge residents to continue to take simple precautions like wearing a mask, social distancing, and avoiding crowded indoor areas.

Of the nearly 2,300 intensive care unit beds in Indiana, the department says 18% are taken up by COVID-19 patients. In northeast Indiana, they say 20% of ICU beds are filled with COVID-19 patients.

Parkview Health’s Chief Quality and Safety Officer says Parkview has seen “a dramatic increase” in hospitalizations and emergency room visits related to COVID-19, and urges residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine in addition to masking and social distancing.

RELATED: 400+ new COVID-19 cases reported in Allen County, dept. says

The department’s release says the county’s positivity rate is nearly 13%, and total daily positive cases have been climbing statewide since October. They say the statewide daily positive test rate also has risen.

In addition to the vaccine recommendation from Dr. Sutter and Parkview Health, Lutheran Health Network officials said they also encourage residents to get vaccinated and continue simple precautionary measures. “Our community’s engagement in these practices can have a significant impact in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and the hospitalizations that can result from the deadly virus,” Vishal Bhatia, MD, Lutheran Health Network Chief Medical Officer said.

Currently, vaccinations are effective and available for those 5 and older. Boosters are available for those 18 and older.

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