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State Deploying Resources To Nursing Homes As Cases Surge

Indiana nursing homes will get support from the Indiana National Guard, the state's healthcare reserve workforce and PPE supplies as cases surge.

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Wednesday the state will devote significant resources to nursing homes across Indiana in the next few weeks.

COVID-19 cases and deaths are surging at nursing homes as the state infection rate spikes.

To respond, Holcomb said he will deploy the Indiana National Guard and members of the state’s health care reserve workforce to help staff those facilities.

“We’re going to be sending a lot of additional PPE – N-95 masks and gowns and face shields … kind of surgically meeting that surge with a surge of our own,” Holcomb said.

Indiana State Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lindsay Weaver said the state will also help further educate nursing home staff about best practices for reducing spread of the virus.

“We will hire clinical staff from the health care reserve workforce to allow all long-term care facilities to be visited at least three times a week,” Weaver said.

Nursing homes account for more than half of Indiana’s COVID-19 deaths.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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