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COVID-19 placing strain on local hospitals; Survivor talks recovery

COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations are surging in the Wabash Valley and all across the state of Indiana. Vigo County Health Commissioner Dr. Darren Brucken spoke with News 10 about the state of COVID-19 here locally.

Posted: Nov 17, 2020 6:33 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations are surging in the Wabash Valley and all across the state of Indiana. Vigo County Health Commissioner Dr. Darren Brucken spoke with News 10 about the state of COVID-19 here locally.

Dr. Brucken says that hospitals here locally are busier than they’ve ever been with COVID-19 patients. He says it’s more taxing right now and throughout the last two weeks than it’s been throughout the entire pandemic.

Dr. Brucken admittedly said that local hospitals are a bit nervous of the fallout from upcoming holiday gatherings and the amount of people that could come knocking on their door. He says there is a very real possibility of having to turn patients away. Hospital staff is maxed out and so is the amount of beds.

He says that’s why it’s of utmost importance to take COVID-19 seriously and do everything you can do to help mitigate the spread in our community.

“People still think that this is not real or it’s not that big of a deal,” Dr. Brucken explained, “Our hospital numbers are up, our death numbers are way up, our sickness numbers are up, our mobility is up, mortality is up, case numbers are up, people are just getting sicker—I mean just look around. How is this thing deniable to anybody?”

Dr. Brucken shed light on a slew of topics with News 10 regarding the local COVID-19 situation. He spoke about reinfection, hospital numbers, and the upcoming holiday season. News 10 also spoke with a local COVID-19 survivor. He spoke about how his recovery is going and had a message for everyone.

67-year-old Dan Pigg lives on the outskirts of Vigo County. You may remember, News 10 spoke with him in late August about his battle with COVID-19. Pigg says he flat-lined, was brought back to life and had to stay in the hospital for 37 days. That was all back in March, but Pigg says he still doesn’t feel 100% recovered.

“I’m more than 50% recovered—probably close to 75%,” Pigg estimated, “I’m still a little deficient in endurance, stamina, and memory. The long-term memory is still there but the short-term memory is kind of hit and miss.”

Many COVID-19 patients who have recovered report similar lingering symptoms of brain fog. Dr. Brucken tells News 10, patients like Pigg aren’t exactly out of the woods and must continue to remain vigilant while practicing all COVID-19 precautions.

“Right now, we have re-exposures in our community—reinfections,” Dr. Brucken warned, “People that were positive in April in May recovered, and now they are sick again and testing positive again.”

News 10 asked Pigg if he was concerned about being re-infected. He didn’t seem too worried but says he will still be extra cautious, follow all COVID-19 guidelines, and urges everyone to do the same.

“I’m not afraid of it. I think I’ve experienced the worst part of COVID-19 that anybody could experience,” Pigg concluded, “Do everything you possibly can to stay safe.”

Pigg says he’s living proof that COVID-19 is very real. Dr. Brucken agrees and urges everyone, even if you’re tired of it, to exercise caution this holiday season saving lives in the process.

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Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1357843

Reported Deaths: 24617
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook54365810080
DuPage902661277
Will75240989
Lake66984986
Kane58192769
Winnebago33017472
Madison30439518
McHenry28481285
St. Clair27802512
Peoria23019305
Champaign20563145
Sangamon18656234
McLean18086178
Tazewell16884282
Rock Island14913310
Kankakee14120209
Kendall1297393
LaSalle12488243
Macon10715198
DeKalb9838119
Vermilion9575132
Adams8421123
Williamson7404129
Whiteside7142171
Boone668072
Ogle608781
Grundy586675
Clinton575490
Coles567094
Knox5537142
Jackson500664
Henry493763
Livingston481285
Stephenson473882
Effingham472772
Woodford471876
Macoupin468681
Marion4467115
Franklin444374
Monroe435593
Jefferson4281120
Lee415352
Randolph412784
Fulton390355
Morgan388181
Logan385957
Montgomery370973
Bureau370582
Christian365073
Fayette316855
Perry316060
Iroquois299966
McDonough283047
Jersey268949
Douglas258335
Saline256554
Lawrence240425
Shelby229137
Union225740
Crawford211426
Bond204224
Cass198325
Jo Daviess180624
Warren179646
Clark179133
Pike178652
Ford177646
Wayne177052
Hancock175531
Carroll174936
Richland174440
Edgar169639
White169326
Washington163925
Moultrie160728
De Witt150524
Mason150145
Piatt148614
Clay148143
Mercer146433
Greene143633
Johnson143215
Wabash134512
Massac133640
Cumberland129119
Menard123112
Jasper115018
Marshall106418
Hamilton83115
Schuyler7435
Brown7036
Pulaski6887
Stark63423
Edwards56912
Henderson52514
Calhoun5182
Putnam4813
Scott4771
Alexander46711
Gallatin4584
Hardin38612
Pope3194
Out of IL20
Unassigned02356

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 730969

Reported Deaths: 13434
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1000031743
Lake53771970
Allen40668678
St. Joseph35733552
Hamilton35629408
Elkhart28577442
Tippecanoe22402219
Vanderburgh22310397
Porter18776308
Johnson17970379
Hendricks17244315
Clark12985191
Madison12673339
Vigo12449247
LaPorte11928211
Monroe11893170
Delaware10696186
Howard9924216
Kosciusko9410117
Hancock8284141
Bartholomew8070156
Warrick7784155
Floyd7669178
Grant7060174
Wayne7051199
Boone6700101
Morgan6576139
Dubois6156117
Marshall6050111
Dearborn581378
Cass5808105
Henry5720103
Noble561384
Jackson501773
Shelby491996
Lawrence4546120
Harrison435872
Gibson435492
DeKalb428485
Clinton427453
Montgomery424189
Whitley396139
Huntington391980
Steuben387857
Miami381866
Knox371990
Jasper366047
Putnam360760
Wabash354179
Adams341354
Ripley339770
Jefferson330981
White314354
Daviess297399
Wells291581
Decatur285492
Fayette280762
Greene278985
Posey271533
LaGrange266770
Scott266354
Clay260247
Randolph240781
Washington240732
Spencer232131
Jennings230149
Starke216654
Fountain212346
Sullivan211942
Owen200256
Fulton195440
Jay195130
Carroll189320
Orange183654
Perry183037
Rush173425
Vermillion169143
Franklin168135
Tipton162845
Parke146316
Blackford134932
Pike134334
Pulaski116845
Newton107834
Brown102141
Crawford99814
Benton98614
Martin89115
Warren82115
Switzerland7918
Union71010
Ohio56811
Unassigned0416