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Evangelical Community Hospital treating two coronavirus patients

Union County saw its first positive case of coronavirus Friday and Evangelical Community Hospital announced it is treating two patients for COVID-19.

LEWISBURG, Pa. — According to Evangelical Community Hospital CEO Kendra Aucker, as of Friday, more than 150 people have been tested for the coronavirus at one of this hospital's facilities. So far, only 33 test results have come back with two positives.

Aucker says the hospital recently got a shipment of supplies including ventilators and N95 masks from the national stockpile.

"At this point, we feel good about the supply that we have, but this is preparing for something that you don't know what it is and you don't know how long the duration of it will be, so you never know if you have enough supplies," Aucker said.

Hospital employees are screened for coronavirus symptoms as they come in to work. There is a separate COVID-19 testing area, just off campus.

Aucker has doubts about life returning to normal anytime soon.

"We haven't really hit our peak yet as a country and so when you don't know what you don't know, I think it's extremely optimistic to think we will be open again by Easter."

Evangelical Community Hospital along with Geisinger and the Union County commissioners sent a joint letter this week to the Bureau of Prisons regarding inmate transfers.

Earlier this week, inmates were transferred to federal prisons near Lewisburg, Allenwood, and Waymart. Hospital officials and commissioners are asking for more information about these transfers, as there is concern about the coronavirus spreading within the prisons.

"We would overwhelm the health care systems, so we are concerned at the present that we are taking care of our communities and we could be very quickly overwhelmed if there was a rapid spread of COVID in both of our prison systems," Aucker added.

As for the two coronavirus patients that Evangelical Community Hospital is treating, Aucker would not give details about them or their conditions.

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