TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI)-The Coronavirus continues to be a concern of health professionals all over the world. That's why the Health Department in Tippecanoe County has a plan in place in case the virus makes its way to Indiana. Local health professionals say the plan is a team effort.
"Local health departments coordinate with ISDH to put together a plan,” said Khala Hochstedler with the Tippecanoe County Health Department. “We have been working with our community partners which include both hospitals,EMS, fire and Purdue University to make sure we have a plan in place for Coronavirus."
Local hospitals say, their biggest role in the plan, is screening patients properly.
"We do a screening process where we ask families or we ask patients a few screening questions to see if that's a possible risk,” Jim Bien Chief Medical Officer of Quality and Safety, IU Health Arnett. “So, before an outbreak would occur I think we would start to see a few people enter the community and we would start to detect that there was disease in the community."
Any time there is a new communicable disease an alert is sent out by the Indiana State Department of Health, which is what prompted this plan to be enacted.
"We have international students here, we have people who travel for business, we have all sorts of opportunities for people to have been to china or been to where maybe the outbreak is greater and return.” said Michael Bayci the Emergency Preparedness Manager at Franciscan Health.
The health department says it's highly unlikely the virus will end up in Tippecanoe county.
"Everyone who is coming back from China is being monitored with temperature checks by their local health department for two weeks," added Hochstedler.
However, regardless of what happens, health professionals in the area are prepared.
"We are working closely as a hospital with our peer hospital over at IU, with the county health department, and with our district coalition and state department of health to keep everyone safe.” added Bayci.
These types of preparations haven't taken place since the Ebola outbreak back in 2014. All of the health organizations in our area want to remind people that these are just preparations, there have been zero cases of the Coronavirus in Indiana.