KENDALLVILLE, Ind. (WFFT) -- The Noble County Health Department confirms a patient at Parkview Noble Hospital has been diagnosed with the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
Dr. Terry Gaff, Noble County Health Officer, tells FOX 55 News a middle-aged male showed up at the Parkview Noble ER Sunday.
Hospital officials sent a swab to the Indiana State Department of Health which ran a test and confirmed a "presumptive positive" result Sunday night, Gaff said.
Parkview Health says the samples will be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for final confirmation but until then it will be treated as a positive case.
"A presumptive positive is considered a positive result and we will continue to treat the patient," Gaff said.
The patient is in isolation at the hospital's intensive care unit.
Gaff said the most likely scenario is the man contracted it while traveling to Florida, "which is not known to be a hotbed of Coronavirus until now."
"The patient is unlikely to have contracted the virus locally but is in isolation to try to prevent the spread of the virus."
WALK-IN CLINICS CLOSED
Parkview Health said in a release that the patient first sought treatment at the FirstCare Walk-In Clinic in Kendallville on March 1 and the location on New Vision Drive on March 5. Both clinics are closed today for deep cleaning "out of an abundance of caution."
Parkview says workers at both sites have been advised to stay home and will be screened today for possible exposure.
Officials recommend anyone who visited either clinic and feels they may have been exposed to self-monitor for 14 days since the date of potential exposure. That includes checking your temperature twice a day and calling your doctor if you have a fever greater than 100.4 degrees and respiratory symptoms. They are not requiring self-quarantine at this time for the general public.
Rep. Jim Banks released a statement today saying his office has reached out to Parkview Health, the Noble County Health Department and the East Noble School Corporation, which has not closed schools.
"We've also learned that the East Noble School Corporation learned of the development and notified families and staff this morning that the infected individual does not have school age children," Banks wrote.
Dr. Deborah McMahan, Allen County health commissioner, said in a statement released by Parkview Health that the region has been preparing for a COVID-19 case and assured residents that all necessary steps are being taken to reduce the spread of the illness.
“The Department of Health is working closely with Parkview Health and leaders throughout the community to ensure the health and safety of all our citizens,” Dr. McMahan said. “We commend Parkview for the speed with which they addressed the situation and implemented appropriate measures. We want to remind the community to be prepared as the situation evolves every day.”
This is at least the third case in Indiana.
Ohio has yet had any confirmed cases but two people in Paulding County were recently put on self-quarantine after traveling to Italy.
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.