FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — Allen County health officials say it is only a matter of time until a local resident is officially diagnosed with the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
Allen County currently has no known confirmed cases as of Saturday, but the Indiana State Department of Health released its daily COVID-19 case count Saturday with an additional case confirmed in Wells County – increasing the number of confirmed cases in surrounding Northeast Indiana counties to three.
One case reported from a surrounding county had been a short-term resident of Allen County for several weeks and was exposed and diagnosed here.
Local health officials are saying a case in Allen County is inevitable.
“Because people from many of our neighboring counties come here every day to work, attend events, shop and receive various medical care, it is inevitable we will become aware of additional exposures in our community as the virus spreads,” said Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Deborah McMahan. “We are working closely with ISDH and the surrounding local health departments to ensure any of our residents potentially exposed are informed and proper steps are taken.”
Allen County residents who are exposed to known confirmed cases of COVID-19 are asked to quarantine at home for 14 days and monitor themselves for fever, cough and other symptoms.
The ACDH says a quarantine separates and restricts the movement of those exposed to see if they become sick.
Household contacts and family members of people quarantined can go about their normal business but should self-monitor for fever or other symptoms and call their doctor if any develop.
Officials say testing for COVID-19 is currently unavailable on-demand or by request because of the nationwide shortage.
Patients must currently meet ISDH’s criteria to be tested, and strict protocol must be followed to ensure no one else is exposed while a mucus specimen is collected from the individual.
Anyone with a fever of 100 degrees and a cough should first call their healthcare provider to discuss their symptoms and determine the next course of action.
The following local healthcare providers have set up a specific screening for COVID-19:
- Fort Wayne Medical Education patients should call 260-423-2675
- IU Health patients should download the telemedicine application IU Health Virtual Visit and follow directions or call 260-234-5400
- Lutheran Health patients should call 260-435-5050
- Parkview patients should call 1-877-PPG-TODAY or their specific provider; Parkview has also set up a self-screening website at Parkview.com/covid19screening
- Neighborhood Health Clinic patients should call 260-458-2570