INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Gov. Eric Holcomb confirmed the state’s first case of coronavirus in Indiana on Friday morning.
“Indiana has in fact received its first case of coronavirus COVID-19,” Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said Friday.
“Today serves as yet another reminder of the importance to stay informed and prepared as you carry on with your daily lives,” Holcomb explained Friday.
Holcomb says the person infected is a Marion County resident who recently traveled to Boston to attend a conference as a contractor.
“And had contact with individuals at an event last week where positive cases have been identified. This individual is currently in isolation and there is no ongoing risk to the public,” Dr. Kristina Box, The State Health Commissioner explained Friday.
The case is being described as an isolated incident.
The person infected is an adult.
“With the help of our federal, state and local partners, Indiana is responding to this case as we have planned and prepared for weeks,” Holcomb said. “The Hoosier who has been diagnosed has taken responsible steps to stay isolated.”
State health officials told the patient to go to Community Hospital North and the state notified hospital staff the patient was on his way. He was placed in a room with negative airflow and was taken to self-quarantine. He’ll remain in isolation for two weeks.
“He was at that emergency room at the hospital at two o’clock in the morning. They called their folks from home to do the laboratory tests for this coronavirus, so we had an answer this morning,” Dr. Virginia Caine, the director of the Marion County Health Department, said Friday.
Health officials said the patient and the hospital did everything possible to limit exposure to the virus.
“I want to reassure you that no patients, no other caregivers were exposed to this individual. We were exceedingly cautious on the route he took and minimal-to-zero exposure to anybody that did not have protective infectious disease material,” Dr. Ramarao Yeleti, the Chief Physician Executive for the Community Health Network explained Friday.
Discussing Indiana’s first case of coronavirus
The Indiana State Department of Health is working with the CDC, the Marion County Public Health Department and Community Hospital North to identify and monitor close contacts of the patient.
State Health Commissioner Kris Box says that the risk to the general public is low.
ISDH says these are the most common ways to spreading coronavirus:
- Respiratory droplets released into the air by coughing and sneezing;
- Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands;
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands; and
- Rarely, fecal contamination.
ISDH recommends taking these steps to protect yourself:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Marion County, Indiana, Public Health director Dr. Virginia Caine talks about the coronavirus
On Thursday, the West Lafayette Community School Corporation announced that a parent was being tested for COVID-19. On Friday, Superintendent Rocky Killion said the result came back negative.
Indiana Hospital Association released the following statement Friday after the governor’s announcement:
With today’s announcement of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Indiana, Hoosiers should know that hospitals are prepared. Hospitals actively participate in infection control efforts, regional patient safety coalitions, and in Indiana’s public health preparedness districts. These networks serve us well in responding to any public health emergency across the health care continuum in partnership with federal, state, and local agencies.
Every hospital has already been preparing for this development by collaborating with state and local partners. We are fortunate to have leaders in Governor Holcomb’s administration like State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box, who has been working tirelessly with stakeholders in anticipation of this possibility.
We urge Hoosiers to take an active role in prevention of all contagious diseases, including influenza. Actions everyone can take include, but are not limited to, vaccination, good hygiene practices, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when ill. The Indiana Hospital Association recommends those looking for resources to utilize the Indiana State Department of Health’s dedicated webpage or CDC guidance to learn more.Indiana Hospital Association
City-County Council President Vop Osili released the following statement:
My colleagues and I on the Council applaud our state and local health officials for their swift action in response to news of Indiana’s first case of COVID-19. Their coordination and preparation will serve our citizens well in the coming days. The Indianapolis City-County Council stands ready to take any needed action to support the efforts of our county health departments as they work with our state and federal partners as this situation progresses. We encourage everyone in our community to heed our public health officials’ recommendations.City-County Council President Vop Osili
News 8’s Dr. Mary Gillis DEd also took questions on the coronavirus from viewers live on Facebook Friday afternoon .