Bolivar County nurse who tested positive for coronavirus opens up about experience

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Cleveland, Miss — A Bolivar County nurse says he has tested positive for coronavirus. Now, he’s speaking on his concerns about the spread and supplies within his hospital.

Tad Barrington suspected he had COVID-19 a week ago.

“I started feeling it Friday. Felt just like flu symptoms,” Barrington said. “The body aches were really bad for me. I was aching really bad for about two days.”

Barrington’s family is from Collierville, but he works at a hospital in Cleveland, Mississippi as a medical, surgical and ICU nurse. He says last week, they became busy.

“By Tuesday or Wednesday, our whole hall with COVID suspects. Two confirmed already. I knew it was a strong possibility, probability I would get it,” Barrington said.

He says he found out Friday he has the coronavirus. His girlfriend, who’s also a nurse, has it too.

“No one could prepare for something like this,” Barrington said.

He says all the nurses he knows are very stressed and running out of personal protective equipment, also known as PPE. Barrington said improvising is one way they’re handling it.

“Right now, a lot of coworkers are in the unit.  I haven’t been in there in a week, and won’t be there,” Barrington said. “I also work in the ICU. They are having to wear trash bags for PPE. They are running out of gowns.”

He says they’re doing their best in a hectic situation.

“At lot of this is reactive situations because it’s an evolving situation,” Barrington said. “I would say nurses are a different kind of person. I am proud of all the nurses I have worked with and met because a lot of them are scared. A lot of them are anxious. They are still there every day. Doing what they have been doing.”

He said the best solution right now to this pandemic is to just stay at home.

“If we can do that in unison, it is going to help control the spread considerably until we can get some treatment for this,” Barrington said.

He says the hospital is receiving equipment donations and working to get more. He also asks that everyone continues to keep health care workers in their thoughts and prayers.

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