Miami County nursing home resident awaiting coronavirus test result has died

A Miami County man who was awaiting test results to determine if he had coronavirus died Thursday night at Upper Valley Medical Center in Troy, the Miami County Coroner said Friday.

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Earl Bolinger, 93, was a resident of the Koester Pavilion skilled nursing care facility in Troy, where two earlier cases of COVID-19 were discovered and where additional residents and staff are now presumed positive or awaiting testing.  Koester is owned by Premier Health.

Dr. William Ginn, Miami County coroner, said officials were still waiting for official test results on Bolinger as of about 9 a.m. Friday. He said he was not sure when the result would become official, but the case is being treated as a coronavirus death. The test was drawn on Tuesday, Ginn said.

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Bolinger is the father of a patient in his 70s who initially came to Koester Pavilion, then was transported to the Dayton VA hospital, where he was diagnosed with coronavirus.  That patient is a resident of Bethel Twp. in Clark County.

Bolinger had been admitted to Upper Valley, Ginn said, and had respiratory issues that sent him into the Intensive Care Unit. He was placed on a ventilator, and on Thursday, he crashed and died, Ginn said.

Ginn said Bolinger’s body was transported to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

“It was the first case we had, so I thought it was prudent” to involve the Montgomery County office, Ginn said.

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However, if the test confirms Bolinger was positive for COVID-19, no autopsy will be performed. Ginn also said a negative result could still mean no autopsy will be performed because Bolinger’s health history. Bolinger had a heart bypass the day after Christmas Ginn said.

“He has some cardiovascular disease to begin with,” the coroner said. “An autopsy might not show us a whole lot more.”

On Wednesday officials announced that two Koester residents tested positive for the virus and were hospitalized. One, a man in his 70s from Bethel Twp. in Clark County, was transferred to the Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center, where he was placed in isolation for another condition before showing symptoms. The other is a Miami County woman in her 60s who now is hospitalized at the Upper Valley Medical Center.

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Thursday evening Miami County health officials had announced there were “nine additional presumptive positive COVID-19 cases in Miami County,” all residents of Koester. The news release did not make clear whether those nine were part of the 17 people who were originally quarantined because of contact with the two patients whose positive tests were announced on Wednesday.

The news release also said there are three additional residents and two staff members from Koester who were hospitalized. All of them, plus five additional staff members, are awaiting results of their COVID-19 tests.

“These positive cases are not unexpected given that public health officials have anticipated that COVID-19 will spread through community contact in our region, state, and nation. Patients at UVMC who are ‘presumptive positive’ for COVID-19 continue to be kept in isolation,” said Ben Sutherly, system director of communications for Premier Health.

He could not be reached for further comment on Friday.

Ginn says he is worried there will be more deaths resulting from exposures to the coronavirus at Koester.

“Your’re talking about elderly people in a group setting where things like this tend to run kind of rampant and most of those people are not in the greatest of health anyway,” Ginn said.

This story is developing and will be updated.


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