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)

Confirmed Cases: 383687

Reported Deaths: 9792
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1774655433
DuPage23099606
Lake20815511
Will18621427
Kane16903347
Winnebago10340180
St. Clair7993220
Madison7221154
McHenry6452121
Champaign617229
Unassigned4778270
Peoria462273
McLean420934
Rock Island407090
Sangamon406763
Kankakee342180
Macon316052
Kendall270430
Tazewell268756
LaSalle242663
DeKalb239942
Coles193539
Adams188820
Williamson188859
Boone187825
Clinton178926
Vermilion174110
Jackson154826
Whiteside146027
Knox131716
Randolph128315
Ogle12187
Effingham11834
Marion102819
Stephenson10187
Franklin9869
Grundy9777
Morgan93424
Monroe92530
Bureau91316
Jefferson90748
Henry8537
Christian82529
Macoupin81611
Union78725
McDonough77120
Lee7402
Shelby69112
Fayette68524
Douglas6849
Crawford6516
Livingston64610
Woodford63714
Montgomery61516
Logan5994
Saline5679
Fulton5271
Jo Daviess5127
Bond5079
Warren5068
Iroquois49519
Wayne48612
Jersey47521
Cass46311
Perry44716
Carroll41911
Moultrie4154
Johnson3620
Pike3586
Lawrence3368
Richland33516
Clay31413
Hancock3144
Clark31017
Washington3102
Mason3091
Greene29515
Cumberland2946
Mercer2706
White2704
De Witt2646
Jasper26410
Piatt2540
Pulaski2401
Wabash2285
Ford19814
Menard1861
Edgar15710
Marshall1573
Massac1552
Henderson1290
Hamilton1262
Alexander1241
Brown1110
Edwards1090
Gallatin1072
Scott1070
Putnam920
Schuyler901
Stark863
Calhoun660
Hardin540
Pope421
Out of IL50

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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

Confirmed Cases: 164581

Reported Deaths: 4143
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion26055792
Lake14436358
St. Joseph9606168
Elkhart9271138
Allen8647231
Hamilton6400115
Vanderburgh617162
Tippecanoe396715
Porter347550
Hendricks3418134
Monroe335638
Johnson3286130
Delaware311575
Clark306263
Vigo275340
Madison250896
LaPorte239261
Cass229724
Warrick205065
Kosciusko201127
Floyd187468
Howard169466
Bartholomew147958
Marshall147428
Dubois146426
Wayne142031
Grant133539
Henry133030
Boone129150
Hancock124744
Noble122935
Jackson121018
Dearborn103128
Morgan100340
Lawrence96838
Gibson94412
Clinton92416
Daviess92334
Shelby90632
LaGrange82815
Knox81810
Harrison81024
Posey7767
Putnam77616
Fayette76719
DeKalb76011
Jasper6885
Miami6715
Steuben6608
Montgomery63122
White62316
Greene57838
Adams5607
Scott55413
Decatur52839
Ripley4838
Whitley4836
Clay4617
Sullivan45714
Wells45611
Huntington4455
Starke4438
Wabash4439
Orange42425
Spencer4176
Randolph39210
Jennings38713
Washington3873
Franklin38325
Fulton3785
Perry36914
Jefferson3655
Pike35718
Carroll34313
Jay3386
Fountain3293
Tipton28423
Vermillion2721
Parke2564
Rush2464
Blackford2394
Newton23711
Owen2151
Martin2050
Pulaski1783
Crawford1631
Brown1473
Ohio1337
Union1140
Benton1130
Switzerland980
Warren911
Unassigned0236