TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the Wabash Valley, Union Hospital is ready to use a portable medical tent to care for patients if needed.
Officials confirm as of this morning that 62 patients are hospitalized at Union Hospital with COVID-19, 18 of them are in the Intensive Care Unit. Of those 18 ICU patients, 15 are on ventilators.
The tent, located outside the main entrance of Union Hospital’s Emergency Department, does not have a designated use yet, but is a precautionary measure. Barry Nicoson, Assistant Manager with E.M.S. and Emergency Preparedness, called the readdiction of a medical tent disheartening.
“We thought we were coming down our numbers had come down,” Nicoson said. “We did that little plateau thing, now we’re rising. The vaccination numbers are not going as high as we’d like them to be, we need that to happen. Our COVID numbers are getting higher.”
He added that the tent is a measure to stay ahead of a potential surge. Though no decision has been confirmed, officials said they have discussed the possibility of delaying certain surgical procedures.
“Just trying to stay ahead of things. The numbers are just going up and if we don’t get ahead of it we’re gonna get way behind it. We’re just trying to be proactive,” Nicoson said. “It is something we have talked about.”
Health officials continue to monitor data on how to slow the spread of COVID-19, both on a local and large scale. Nicoson added that the goal is to lower numbers.
“We’ve been seeing some trends, we’ve been seeing some peaks and following some other states,” he said. “We happen to be four to five weeks behind them. If this works out we may be peaking in three to four more weeks and hopefully start to come back down. We are doing our best to take care of patients in the Wabash Valley.”
As of Aug. 30, Union Hospital re-activated it’s COVID-19 hotline. The public can call (812) 238-4871 and health experts will answer all Coronavirus related questions from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.