Elkhart County leaders have candid conversation about COVID-19 realities

Published: Nov. 25, 2020 at 6:39 PM EST
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ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - Medical leaders in Elkhart County are reminding Michiana the pandemic is still ongoing as the holidays approach. On Wednesday, doctors, nurses, along with political and business leaders held the weekly virtual Candid Conversation about the wide-ranging effects of the coronavirus.

Goshen Hospital officials spoke at length regarding their situation, with Chief Medical Officer Dr. Dan Nafziger, MD saying it feels like there are two hospitals within one: a Covid hospital and a hospital for non-Covid patients. An infectious disease specialist, Nafziger said his workers are feeling the brunt of public rumors about the virus.

“It is incredibly demoralizing to our healthcare workers to be this far into the pandemic and to have their integrity questioned almost on a daily basis by patients and community members. [I was] just talking to somebody today who said their patient believed that doctors were inflating the number of Covid patients by twice as many as there are,” said Nafziger.

Already, at least 55 people have died from coronavirus across various age groups at Goshen Hospital. Resources are strained, and while Nafziger recognizes it may be impossible to abstain from a Thanksgiving dinner completely, he recommends people consider the risk level each guest poses along with spacing accommodations during mealtime.

“Obviously spacing things out, having better ventilation - there’s lots of things that may help, but the reality is if you’re bringing together multiple generations of people who are not typically in the same household, today in Elkhart County, you’re, you’re playing with fire,” Nafziger stated.

On a given day, Goshen Hospital could be short 10 to 20 employees due to the effects of coronavirus on their families.

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