Holcomb Orders Non-Emergency Surgeries Postponed Amid COVID-19 Surge

Dec 9, 2020

Gov. Eric Holcomb says doctors and nurses statewide are overwhelmed and exhausted as COVID-19 rages through the state, largely unchecked.
Credit (Justin Hicks/IPB News)

Gov. Eric Holcomb says Indiana hospitals must postpone or reschedule non-emergency surgeries for the next few weeks as COVID-19’s surge worsens statewide.

From at least Dec. 16 to Jan. 3, Holcomb’s order cancels elective, in-patient surgeries that would have been done in the hospital.

“The decision to postpone non-emergent hospital procedures reflects the fact that our hospital systems are stretched to the limit,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box.

Holcomb is also barring local health departments from waiving social gathering limits imposed by the state. So, for instance, in counties experiencing the worst COVID-19 spread, it’s 25 people or less. In the second-to-worst category – orange, on the state’s color-coded map – it’s 50.

Yet attendance at K-12 extra-curricular events or professional and college sporting events in orange counties can be much higher – 25 percent of the arena’s capacity.

Holcomb said that’s because state data shows spread is happening in social settings like parties, weddings and funerals.

“We are picking and choosing," Holcomb said. "We’re trying to do that intelligently and we’re letting the data drive those decisions.”

Holcomb’s latest COVID-19 executive orders run for the next few weeks.

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