Carle Health will begin sharing daily updates via its website and social media on the number of people being treated for COVID-19 at its five hospitals and trends in how many people are testing positive for the virus.

“We need the information to inspire action rather than spread fear,” Charles Dennis, MD, chief medical officer for Carle Health said. “These are the facts today. We’re at a critical juncture in our fight. Our teams are continually rising to the challenge, but the reality is the rapid growth in cases and hospitalizations is straining our healthcare system and staff.”

Dennis said the data shared by Carle describes a reflection of the region.

“Carle serves a broader region that extends beyond the county in which each hospital sits. We have an obligation to support the greater region and are calling on each person seeing and hearing this to double down on their prevention efforts today,” Dennis said.

Carle’s daily update will include the number of currently hospitalized COVID-19 patients at Carle Foundation Hospital, Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center, Carle Richland Memorial Hospital, Carle BroMenn Medical Center and Carle Eureka Hospital.

The data also will include how many of those hospitalized patients are in intensive care, and a weekly testing positivity rate for COVID-19 test that are processed through Carle’s labs.

Carle leaders worry that the community is experiencing COVID-19 fatigue and becoming numb to the numbers.

“We’ve been fighting this virus, and fighting for our patients, for nine months with no signs of it slowing. The increase in cases is concerning. The bottom line is: We need your help. At Carle, we are here for all your healthcare needs. And in order to ensure we can serve everyone who needs care, whether it’s COVID, heart conditions, stroke, or accidents, we need your help now. Every one of us can do our part to get control of the virus in our community,” Dennis said.

Carle also issued an important and stark reminder:

“Every hospital bed represents a family member, a friend, a neighbor, perhaps even your loved one. This virus is serious and the current trends are alarming,” Robert Healy, MD, Carle’s chief Quality officer said. “The impact of COVID-19 on each of us is very real.”

Infectious Disease physician Tony Varma, DO, urged people to, “please protect yourself, your family, your community and your local healthcare workers by wearing a mask, staying home, practicing social distancing and getting a flu shot. Limit your outings to essential errands and consider contactless options like drive-through, curbside or delivery services. Everyone needs to do their part to keep themselves and others safe and resist the urge to gather in person during the upcoming holiday season.”

The dashboard is available on carle.org/covid-19 and through the Carle Health Facebook page.

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