Coronavirus Update: April 2, 2020

As I pen this update, the sun is setting and shining brightly through the window of my office, the leaves are peeking out of the buds on the trees, the spring flowers are in full bloom, and I look forward to the task of spending time this weekend mowing our lawn for the first time this year.  I do not typically anticipate mowing the lawn, but this year it is going to be a wonderful change of pace!

As hard as it is to believe on a day like today, there really is a pandemic happening and the world witnessed the 1 millionth person diagnosed with the disease …  Yesterday, the U.S. surpassed the 200,000 mark and today Indiana surpassed 3,000.  Hancock County is up to 37 and the Indy metro area (Marion and the contiguous counties) surpassed 2,000 today as well.

In response to the continued growth in cases, the Federal government introduced the new “30 Days to Slow the Spread” initiative on Tuesday, making clear the CDC recommendations for social distancing will last until at least May, and Indiana made the decision to extend virtual classes through the end of the school year for all K-12 students.

At Hancock Health, today was the first day of the universal wearing of “washable” clothing (I enjoyed my scrubs and saw many of us rocking jeans as well) and tomorrow we will enhance our masking procedures. Click here to view a handy diagram that outlines which types of masks should be worn for specific needs, locations, and assignments (many thanks to all who put so much effort into this!).  For those not involved in direct patient care (like me) a cloth mask is required.  It is important to note that cloth masks are intended mostly for the protection of others, not for the person wearing them.  If I should happen to cough, the mask will slow the spread of what I might expel, thereby protecting those around me.  Hancock Health will be providing cloth masks that can be regularly exchanged during the day with the soiled masks laundered for us and restocked in designated areas.  I am thrilled that we will be able to utilize personalized cloth masks and I have already been gifted a supply of “checkered flag” masks. For those of us using personalized masks, we will be responsible for laundering them at home as it would be exceptionally difficult to separate these masks and they may not survive the bulk washing process we will use for the standard masks any way.  I imagine a contest will quickly arise to find the “snazziest” mask at Hancock Health, though it will be hard to top mine ?, It is important to note that while a mask may hide our coughs, it doesn’t have to hide our smiles – check out the following video for proof of this.

I look forward to “smiling” at you tomorrow through my “racing” mask!

  • Our efforts to reduce our regular patient care volumes as much as possible has worked and we are currently at the lowest inpatient census and outpatient visit level of the last ten years and are well-placed to handle a surge of COVID patients
  • The Hancock Triage Clinic, Hancock COVID Triage hotline (317-325-2683 (COVD), and email lines continue to provide
  • Work to retrofit the Reflections unit to our first COVID care unit will be completed on Monday when it is stocked for the new purpose.  Additional surge plans are being finalized that include in-house and off-site locations including our Gateway facility as a last resort.
  • The end of in-person patient visitation has gone well and we have used the e-visitation system to great effect a few times.  Learn more at
  •  Some hospitals in Indianapolis and surrounding counties are in a yellow or red status for PPE. We are very fortunate to still be in the green.  This doesn’t mean we can stop conserving.  Every item we can conserve might mean one more day of PPE for our associates… We are taking the next step in terms of personal attire to ensure our clothing is washed daily and additional guidelines in relation to masking will be coming tomorrow as we seek ways to ensure the safety of all our associates, regardless of their location.  Please note, the masking protocol will likely generate lots of questions so be sure to touch base with your manager or department director.
  • We are blessed to be finding new avenues to obtain additional PPE and for a very generous community as well who are finding and bringing in additional supplies.  Should you have folks in the community who would like to donate to the cause, please have them contact Nancy Davis at
  • We have developed a temporary transportation team and a food delivery team to help our patients to receive food items and make it to their health care appointments since other transportation options are closing for a while.  If you have patients that need transportation assistance, please contact Amanda Everidge at
  • We have made arrangements with Fairfield Inn to house hospital associates and medical staff, as well as first-responders in the community, who need temporary housing if they are concerned about carrying the virus home with them.  Hancock Health is covering the cost of these rooms and additional information will be forthcoming early next week.
  • Do your best, prepare for the worst – then trust God for the victory – Proverbs 21:31

All the Best,