HENDRICKS COUNTY, Ind. — The Indiana State Department of Health says they have identified the state’s second presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in a patient in Hendricks County.
Officials say the patient is an adult who is in isolation with mild symptoms and is not hospitalized at this time.
The patient traveled to Boston in late February to attend the BioGen conference and developed mild flu-like symptoms on March 2, ISDH says. More than a dozen COVID-19 cases nationwide have been linked to the conference, including a Marion County resident who was identified Friday as Indiana’s first COVID-19 case.
Governor Holcomb has declared a public health emergency to ensure the state is in the best position to get federal funding to respond.
ISDH says they are working closely with the Hendricks and Marion County health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure that any close contacts of both patients are identified and monitored and that all infection control protocols are being followed.
“With the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the United States and the fact that we are a mobile society, this new case isn’t surprising, but we know it causes concern in the community,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box. “I urge Hoosiers to continue to educate themselves about this illness and take common-sense precautions, but also to be aware that the vast majority of COVID-19 cases are mild in individuals without underlying medical conditions.”
Dr. Box has asked Hoosiers who attended the BioGen conference to self-quarantine at home, monitor for symptoms and notify their local health department or a healthcare provider if they develop a cough, fever or shortness of breath.
Hendricks County health officer Dr. David Stopperich said the county has prepared for possibilities like a COVID-19 case and assured residents that all necessary steps are being taken to reduce the spread of the illness.
“Our health department and the entire medical community of Hendricks County have been working in conjunction with schools, emergency management and other organizations to develop plans to limit the spread of this disease,” Dr. Stopperich said. “I ask anyone who thinks they might have symptoms of COVID-19 to call a healthcare provider so they can be evaluated by phone before going to a medical facility. This will help further limit any spread of this virus.”
ISDH says all confirmed COVID-19 patients are required to remain in isolation for at least 14 days and until specimens taken on two consecutive days test negative for COVID-19.
Coronaviruses spread in multiple ways:
- 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
- In rare cases, fecal contamination
Health officials urged Hoosiers to take precautions, reminding them to wash their hands with soap and warm water. They also recommended that people "bump elbows" when greeting each other instead of shaking hands.
Hoosiers who believe they've been exposed to coronavirus should call their doctor or local health department to arrange testing.
Officials also reminded people to take precautions against the spread of any illness--be it coronavirus or flu.
Here are the recommended precautions:
- 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.