Union Hospital reports first positive coronavirus case

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Union Health officials received notice Thursday of its first patient to test positive for COVID-19 at Union Hospital in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Over recent days, Vigo County medical professionals have echoed a similar message, that it was only a matter of time before a case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the county.

“I think of it as watching kind of a storm roll in, we knew it was coming,” said Dr. Jackie Holder, Union Hospital medical director.

Thursday, Union Hospital staff announced that a patient who is a Vigo County resident did test positive for COVID-19.

Holder says the patient has been self-isolating but Union Hospital staff will take the necessary steps to check if anyone else may have been exposed to the virus.

“It’s been reported to the State Department of Health and from there they help us monitor patients and any contacts,” Holder said.

Officials with the Vigo County Health Department say they will also work to monitor the patient and encourage the community to be proactive in stopping further spread of the virus.

“80% of us will show little or no symptoms, 20% of us will and that’s the elderly and whose with underlying conditions, so we still need to stay on top of this thing,” said Joni Wise, Vigo County Health Department administrator.

Union Hospital staff say they do anticipate more positive cases to occur locally and hope to have more testing in the future.

For now, Holder says she has seen the public take some of the appropriate steps to limit the viruses impact.

“We’re trying our best, I think our community is too. I don’t know if anybody’s been around but it’s been pretty quiet out there, i think people are hearing the message to stay home so i think that will help us,” Holder said.

“I would encourage our employees and community not to panic,” John Bolinger, DO — Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Union Health said.

Holder says the patient is not hospitalized and they are at home while they recover.

She also says that there are more pending tests but could not comment on when we would find out those results.

Holder says Union Hospital will look if they need to change any procedures moving forward.

For those wanting to learn more about COVID-19 or if you have experienced symptoms and would like to know what you should do, you are encouraged to call Union Hospital’s COVID-19 hotline at 812-238-4871.

The appropriate department and staff members that provided services to this patient have been notified. In addition, the Vigo County Health Department, Joint Information Center (JIC) and Indiana State Department of Health have also been notified, according to our protocol and in order to allow proper tracking of COVID-19 cases.

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