Holcomb Details Plan for COVID-19 Spike
Governor Eric Holcomb has announced the state’s plan to deal with the expected surge in COVID-19 cases. The governor has signed an executive order to temporarily relax the licensing requirements for certain medical professionals looking to volunteer to help.
The professionals who, per the order, would be able to practice without an active Indiana license include medical professionals who retired or became inactive in the last five years, those who hold licenses in other states, those who held licenses in other states and retired or became inactive in the last five years, and certain medical students and graduates.
“We see a surge coming and we’re calling in the reinforcements, bolstering Indiana’s capacity to provide additional health care services during this emergency,” Holcomb said in a news release. “By eliminating licensing barriers and tapping in to the available talent pool of healthcare workers, Hoosiers are staffing up and stepping up to meet this challenge head-on.”
Holcomb says some 5,000 medical professionals have expressed interest in volunteering. The governor’s office says those who wish to volunteer will need to register with the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency and will be able to assist in screenings, telemedicine and other basic procedures.
For the first time, the state detailed the number of critical care hospital beds which currently stands at more than 1,900. The number is about 500 more than the “baseline” number of beds in Indiana. Holcomb’s office says the goal is to double the number by transitioning noncritical care beds, recovery rooms, operating rooms, and outpatient facilities into critical care hospital beds.
The state also has nearly 1,200 ventilators which it also aims to double, if needed by repurposing ventilators from operating rooms, ambulatory care centers, EMS and the Indiana National Guard.
Holcomb says he will also request a Major Disaster Declaration for Indiana in order to receive federal funds to assist in the fight against COVID-19. The governor says he also plans to sign another executive order Tuesday to extend the “to-go” requirement for restaurants and bars.
You can view Holcomb’s Monday press conference below:
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