State officials confirm first coronavirus case in Indiana

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced he was declaring a public health emergency in order to obtain federal funding for coronavirus response.

Posted: Mar 6, 2020 11:26 AM
Updated: Mar 6, 2020 3:03 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The man with Indiana’s first confirmed illness from the coronavirus outbreak was in isolation Friday after going to an Indianapolis hospital with mild symptoms, state health officials said.

The man became ill after returning Wednesday from a conference in Boston, where he had contact with people who have the virus that causes COVID-19, State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box said.

Box described the Indiana case as isolated and said health officials were reviewing the man’s travel and who else he had been in contact with since returning to Indianapolis.

The Indiana announcement came Friday as the U.S. tally topped 200 cases, including more than a dozen deaths. Illinois officials have reported five cases.

“With the global spread of COVID-19, the question has never been if Indiana would get a case, but when we would see one,” Box said.

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced he was declaring a public health emergency to help obtain federal funding for a coronavirus response.

The ill man developed a sore throat, cough and low-grade fever before going to Community Hospital North in Indianapolis.

He waited in the parking lot until hospital staff came to him and took him through a side entrance to an isolation room for treatment and testing, said Dr. Ram Yeleti, Community Health Network’s chief physician executive.

The man was transported home for self-quarantine early Friday and there was minimal to zero exposure to other hospital patients, Yeleti said.

“At this time, we do not see any evidence for any spread of this,” he said.

Box said the man was otherwise healthy and emphasized that older people, especially those with chronic illnesses, are at the greatest risk from COVID-19.

Dr. Virginia Caine, director of the Marion County Public Health Department in Indianapolis, urged people to take precautions, wash hands frequently, and avoid hugging and shaking hands.

“I need the public to be patriotic and do the things they need to do to protect themselves,” Caine said. “I want them to take this virus very seriously, but you can die just as well from the flu.”

___

See the full release from the State of Indiana below 

Governor Eric J. Holcomb and the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) announced today the first presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in a Marion County resident with a recent history of travel to Boston. To ensure continued coordination, Gov. Holcomb is issuing a public health emergency declaration.

“With the help of our federal, state and local partners, Indiana is responding to this case as we have planned and prepared for weeks,” Gov. Holcomb said. “The Hoosier who has been diagnosed has taken responsible steps to stay isolated.”

ISDH is working closely with the Marion County Public Health Department, Community Hospital North and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure that any close contacts of the patient are identified and monitored and that all infection control protocols are being followed.

A presumptive positive case means the patient has tested positive at the ISDH Laboratories. Samples will be sent to the CDC for final confirmation.

The public health emergency declaration Gov. Holcomb is issuing today will call on state agencies to continue their diligence and cooperation in responding to COVID-19 and ensures that Indiana can seek funding to control and stop the spread of coronavirus. The declaration will be posted at www.in.gov/gov.

State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG, said the adult patient has been in quarantine since arriving back in Indianapolis and that the risk to the general public is low. The CDC will work to identify and notify air travelers who were on the individual’s flight from Boston and had close contact with the patient.

The patient will remain in isolation for 14 days and will not be released until specimens taken two consecutive days at the end of that period test negative for COVID-19. No additional information about the patient will be released due to privacy laws.

“The state health department has been preparing for weeks to ensure that we have the resources and systems in place to limit or prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Indiana,” Dr. Box said. “Given the global spread of this illness, the question was never if Indiana would have a case, but when it would arrive. I want to stress that this is an isolated case, and that this patient and the hospital did everything possible to limit the risk of exposure to other individuals. Because of those steps, the risk of additional exposure and community transmission is low, but we are taking every precaution to prevent new infections related to this patient.”

Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:

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.
The best way to protect yourself from any respiratory illness, including the flu, is to:

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.
The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it. A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms to protect others from the risk of infection.

This is an ongoing situation and is evolving rapidly. ISDH will provide updates as new information becomes available. For more information, including a list of frequently asked questions, visit https://on.in.gov/COVID19.

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Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1364919

Reported Deaths: 24770
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook54636010136
DuPage907311283
Will75665991
Lake67328990
Kane58479777
Winnebago33296475
Madison30549520
McHenry28644288
St. Clair27886514
Peoria23156316
Champaign20674145
Sangamon18807234
McLean18185180
Tazewell16973289
Rock Island15019318
Kankakee14212210
Kendall1307994
LaSalle12573243
Macon10774200
DeKalb9886119
Vermilion9677132
Adams8476123
Williamson7435130
Whiteside7166172
Boone671173
Ogle611881
Grundy589775
Clinton576190
Coles569096
Knox5567150
Jackson503164
Henry500367
Livingston483185
Stephenson476583
Woodford476076
Effingham473072
Macoupin470883
Marion4471115
Franklin445575
Monroe435693
Jefferson4298120
Lee417352
Randolph413384
Fulton394457
Morgan390482
Logan388559
Bureau372482
Montgomery372374
Christian367773
Fayette317755
Perry317660
Iroquois302566
McDonough286247
Jersey269150
Douglas258935
Saline256554
Lawrence240625
Shelby229937
Union225940
Crawford212126
Bond205424
Cass199325
Jo Daviess181524
Clark180233
Warren180046
Pike179252
Ford178947
Wayne177753
Hancock176132
Carroll175536
Richland175240
Edgar170540
White169826
Washington164525
Moultrie161128
De Witt151625
Mason151445
Piatt150014
Clay148143
Mercer147333
Johnson144415
Greene143933
Massac134640
Wabash134512
Cumberland129019
Menard123612
Jasper115118
Marshall107518
Hamilton83615
Schuyler7587
Brown7106
Pulaski6877
Stark63824
Edwards57112
Henderson52514
Calhoun5182
Putnam4843
Scott4791
Alexander46811
Gallatin4584
Hardin38612
Pope3224
Out of IL50
Unassigned02355

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 734736

Reported Deaths: 13471
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1005261750
Lake54085975
Allen40876680
St. Joseph36249552
Hamilton35783408
Elkhart28784442
Tippecanoe22449219
Vanderburgh22359397
Porter18894310
Johnson18053381
Hendricks17298315
Clark13026191
Madison12740339
Vigo12490248
LaPorte12040214
Monroe11936170
Delaware10738187
Howard9974218
Kosciusko9455117
Hancock8346142
Bartholomew8091156
Warrick7795155
Floyd7682178
Grant7090174
Wayne7067199
Boone6732101
Morgan6603139
Dubois6165117
Marshall6092112
Cass5864105
Dearborn582678
Henry5772105
Noble564484
Jackson503273
Shelby493896
Lawrence4580120
Gibson436592
Harrison436472
DeKalb430185
Clinton428353
Montgomery425589
Whitley397539
Huntington393580
Steuben390757
Miami383268
Knox372790
Jasper370848
Putnam362660
Wabash355080
Adams342555
Ripley340470
Jefferson331781
White316354
Daviess298299
Wells292081
Decatur285792
Fayette281862
Greene280485
Posey272033
LaGrange268370
Scott267354
Clay260947
Washington241932
Randolph241781
Spencer232631
Jennings230749
Starke218454
Fountain213646
Sullivan212242
Owen202556
Jay197230
Fulton195740
Carroll190120
Orange184354
Perry184237
Rush173725
Vermillion170044
Franklin168435
Tipton163145
Parke146716
Pike135334
Blackford135132
Pulaski117245
Newton108634
Brown102641
Crawford101415
Benton99014
Martin89515
Warren82415
Switzerland7938
Union71410
Ohio57111
Unassigned0417