INDIANAPOLIS (WFFT) — Governor Eric J. Holcomb and the Indiana State Department of Health have announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus in the state.
Gov. Holcomb is issuing a public health emergency declaration because of this.
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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.
Officials say the patient recently traveled to Boston, Massachusetts and is now in isolation.
“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.
They say it's an isolated case.
Officials say it was never a matter of if COVID-19 would come to Indiana, but when.
The person is identified as a Marion County resident, according to state health officials.
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.
State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box, 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 ISDH says 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 their website.