MARTINS FERRY — State Sen. Frank Hoagland confirmed Friday that he tested positive for COVID-19 in August and has since recovered from the illness.
Hoagland, R-Mingo Junction, said his mother-in-law, Mary Ann Boyd, was the first family member to test positive for the virus.
He and his wife, Darla, also then tested positive for it on Aug. 5. They got their swab tests done at an urgent care facility in the Steubenville-Wintersville area.
“When Darla’s mother was first diagnosed, I knew we would pop positive,” Hoagland said.
The state lawmaker apparently had a mild case of the infection. He said the virus caused him to have a fever for two days and aches and pains for three days.
“I sweated it out just like I used to overseas,” Hoagland said of past illnesses while serving in the military.
“I drank two of those (Pedialyte) containers. I don’t recommend anything cold. You need room temperature fluids or your stomach will upset even more.”
During his illness, Hoagland said he drank Pedialyte and ate a diet of bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. His wife and mother-in-law did the same; however, he said the virus was much harder on them.
Both Darla and Mary Ann had more severe symptoms and both had to be treated twice for dehydration with IV fluids at an emergency room.
Hoagland noted that he was trained in the military on how to administer an IV, but he did not have those supplies at his home to use on his family.
His father-in-law, Lloyd Boyd, was in an assisted living facility at the time. He did not test positive for COVID initially. After he was moved to a hospice care facility because of other serious ailments, he was tested again for the coronavirus and received a negative result. However, two days before he died, he tested positive for the virus.
This meant Hoagland and his family had to try and provide some final hours of comfort to his father-in-law while wearing head-to-toe personal protective equipment.
Hoagland noted his father-in-law’s death certificate states that he died of COVID-19, though he had other serious ailments as well.
Lloyd Boyd, 81, of Piney Fork died Aug. 31 at Salem Regional Hospital in Salem. His funeral took place on Sept. 4 in Smithfield.
Hoagland said when his wife and mother-in-law first received their positive test results, “they were scared to death they were going to die.” Hoagland blames their reaction and fear on news coverage of the virus. Although he concedes that people have died because of the virus, he believes the decisions regarding care should be made between a patient and doctor, not by government entities.
“Let the professionals handle the decision-making. Doctors are smart people and they know the body inside and out,” he said.
From his own experience, Hoagland noted one flaw he noticed right away with the quarantining system is how difficult it can be for people like himself who live out in the country. If one is in real trouble medically, it would take longer for first responders to get there, he said.
Hoagland added that he did not issue a press release about contracting the virus, but he did speak about it to colleagues in Columbus. He said August was a very difficult month for his family and they were just trying to deal with it.
Hoagland said he has no idea where his mother-in-law may have contracted the virus. The entire family, he said, was staying at home and only visiting his father-in-law. Besides that they would go to the grocery store occasionally.
“None of us are partiers. We don’t go to bars. Outside of seeing Lloyd, we didn’t go anywhere,” he said.
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