Governor Eric Holcomb and the Indiana State Department of Health announced today the first presumptive positive case of a new coronavirus in Indiana.
Holcomb issued a public health emergency declaration in conjunction with the announcement. Holcomb’s public health emergency declaration will be posted at in.gov/gov.
The adult man diagnosed with COVID-19, a disease contracted from a new coronavirus, is a Marion County resident who recently traveled to Boston, according to ISDH. Massachusetts has reported seven presumptive cases of the new coronavirus, as of press time.
“With the help of our federal, state and local partners, Indiana is responding to this case as we have planned and prepared for weeks,” Holcomb stated. “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 to ensure that all close contacts of the patient are identified and monitored and that all infection control protocols are followed.
Indiana State Health Commissioner Kris Box said in a press release that the man has been in quarantine since arriving in Indianapolis.
The CDC will work to identify and notify air travelers who were on the individual’s flight from Boston and anyone who had close contact with the patient, according to the release. The patient will remain in isolation for 14 days and will not be released until specimens taken two consecutive days at the end of that period test negative for COVID-19.
“The state health department has been preparing for weeks to ensure that we have the resources and systems in place to limit or prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Indiana,” Box stated. “Given the global spread of this illness, the question was never if Indiana would have a case, but when it would arrive.
“I want to stress that this is an isolated case, and that this patient and the hospital did everything possible to limit the risk of exposure to other individuals. Because of those steps, the risk of additional exposure and community transmission is low, but we are taking every precaution to prevent new infections related to this patient.”
ISDH will provide updates as new information becomes available. For more, visit on.in.gov/COVID19.