Area health officials work to expand coronavirus test availability

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Nearly 30 patients have been tested for the novel coronavirus at Union Hospital in Terre Haute.

Union Health physician, Randy Stevens, said transparency with the local community is top priority.

“We’ve tested approximately 26 to 28 people. And as we reported yesterday, we had our first positive patient and so we wanted to get that word out to our local community. That this virus is here. But not to panic though,” he said.

According to Stevens, strict criteria has to be met in order for coronavirus testing to be conducted due to the guidelines set by the Indiana State Department of Health.

First priority for testing will be given to health care workers that are at risk for possible exposure or patients who are critically ill.

However, Stevens said he believes testing will become widespread in the future.

“We were recently told that Eli Lilly is working on expanding that testing availability. The Indiana State Department of Health has expanded that too,” he said. “There will be more testing available, relatively soon. But right now because of the limited resources, we’re following strict criteria on who to actually test.”

Stevens noted that these times are unprecedented, but it’s important for the general public to stay informed and updated about COVID-19.

“I think education is the word. Obviously this a dramatic time for the United States of America. We will get through this. We will get through this virus. People just have to be knowledgeable about it.”

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