Vigo County Health Department working with Colleges to prepare for Fall

Some colleges around the Wabash Valley have announced tentative plans to return to campus in the fall. With four colleges in Terre Haute, some of you have asked if our city will be prepared to welcome back thousands of kids come August.

Posted: May 22, 2020 6:19 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Some colleges around the Wabash Valley have announced tentative plans to return to campus in the fall. With four colleges in Terre Haute, some of you have asked if our city will be prepared to welcome back thousands of kids come August.

Vigo County Health Commissioner Dr. Darren Brucken says welcoming back college kids has its own special set of challenges. He spoke about what the Vigo County Health Department has done to prepare for an influx of students come fall and their process in working with colleges.

“Everything is going back to normal at some point,” Brucken said, “It’s just a question of how quickly can we get there and how safely can we get there.”

Dr. Brucken says they have been in contact with all levels of education facilities in Terre Haute and Vigo County—from elementary to college. They have a weekly joint information center call that everybody participates in.

Brucken says it’s each individual college’s responsibility to come up with a plan, but they have been very interactive with the Vigo County Health Department. Brucken believes the city and the county will be ready to welcome students back safely.

“It’s literally going to fall on every single person in the community to figure out, ‘how can I be doing my part to remain safe and to continue to recognize social distancing, continue to wear a mask, and continue to help the overall effort.’ I think we will be ready,” Brucken explained, “The city and county—this area in general— will be ready, I believe, because we are going to have a few months to figure out how do we reopen safely and what does this look like.”

Dr. Brucken says, though, 20,000-25,000 kids coming to our area does present some challenges.

News 10 asked Brucken if hospitals are ready for the influx of people coming to our area and if this presents a higher risk for the possible second wave when the fall comes.

He says not every college kid is perfectly healthy. That’s why even though he believes everyone will come back to campuses,
it’s vitally important to continue socially distancing and practicing social responsibility. If everyone does their part, we can help keep the elderly, the most vulnerable population, as safe as possible.

“As you move around in the community, you put more people in, and you intermingle more, we should see—were likely going to see—a continued spread of the virus in the community,” Dr. Brucken concluded, “The most vulnerable of our population—those are the ones that were still really focusing on. From a healthcare delivery standpoint, those are the folks we have to try to keep out of the hospital.”

Dr. Brucken says they’ve also been in contact with athletic departments. The NCAA has pushed down recommendations that other colleges in our area are looking to for guidance to get sports going again. Overall, Brucken says the collaboration between the health department and different colleges has been great and he expects to see students back in the fall.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 31715

Reported Deaths: 1984
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9189533
Lake3299167
Cass15826
Allen127766
St. Joseph117034
Hendricks112367
Hamilton109992
Johnson1082104
Elkhart100827
Madison58258
Porter48721
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Clark45838
LaPorte40821
Tippecanoe3733
Jackson3611
Howard35618
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Floyd31338
Boone28235
Morgan26124
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Montgomery22717
White2268
Decatur22431
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Monroe16010
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Parke170
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Gibson142
Ohio130
Adams121
Warren121
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Martin90
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Pike60
Unassigned0152

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

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

Confirmed Cases: 112017

Reported Deaths: 4885
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook730973324
Lake7723250
DuPage7207340
Kane5761152
Will5188258
Winnebago195351
McHenry142767
St. Clair99172
Kankakee79942
Kendall71419
Rock Island63622
Champaign5647
Madison53954
Boone39716
Sangamon33126
DeKalb3253
Randolph2593
Jackson22810
McLean21110
Ogle1922
Stephenson1902
Macon18819
Peoria1797
Clinton17716
Out of IL1641
Union1417
LaSalle14012
Whiteside13410
Iroquois1304
Coles1169
Warren1140
Unassigned1100
Jefferson10116
Knox940
Monroe9211
Grundy892
McDonough835
Lee771
Cass670
Henry670
Tazewell673
Williamson551
Marion500
Jasper457
Adams441
Macoupin411
Perry410
Pulaski400
Montgomery391
Vermilion391
Morgan341
Christian334
Livingston312
Douglas270
Jo Daviess270
Fayette202
Ford201
Jersey201
Washington180
Mason170
Menard170
Woodford172
Shelby161
Bureau151
Mercer150
Carroll132
Hancock130
Franklin120
Crawford110
Fulton110
Piatt110
Bond101
Brown100
Clark100
Cumberland100
Logan100
Moultrie100
Schuyler100
Wayne91
Alexander80
Henderson80
Johnson70
Massac70
Saline70
Effingham61
Greene50
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
Wabash20
White20
Calhoun10
Hardin10
Pike10
Pope10
Putnam10
Edgar00
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