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Indiana Health Dept. Confirms 1st Coronavirus Case In The State

Lauren Chapman/IPB News


The Indiana Dept. of Health has announced the first case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Marion county.

Gov. Eric Holcomb made the announcement today adding that he has declared a public health emergency to make sure Indiana is in aposition to get funding to help combat the spread of the disease.

The 1st case is an adult who recently traveled to Boston and returned to Indiana Wednesday. He had contact with an individual in Boston who has been positively Identified as having coronavirus.

The individual has mild symptoms, a low grade fever and cough.

The Marion county man first called the State Health Dept. last night  and was instructed to go to the ER at Community Hospital North which was given a heads up that he was coming. 

Officials say he stayed in the parking lot at the hospital and caregivers received him there.  He was then taken in a side entrance and put in a room with negative air flow.

Officials say no other patients or tehir caregivers at the hospital were exposed to him. He is currently in self isolation and not in the hospital.

35 other individuals are being monitored for coronavirus in Indiana.  12 people have been tested and the state has had the test for coronavirus since Saturday.

The state says it needs more help in its health department call centers, more masks and more epidemiologists.

Indiana Public Broadcasting is covering this breaking news story and will be updating throughout the day. 

Here is the latest news release on the issue that was distributed by the IN Health Department: 

INDIANAPOLIS—Governor Eric J. Holcomb and the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) announced today the first presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in a Marion County resident with a recent history of travel to Boston. To ensure continued coordination, Gov. Holcomb is issuing a public health emergency declaration.


“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.

The public health emergency declaration Gov. Holcomb is issuing today will call on state agencies to continue their diligence and cooperation in responding to COVID-19 and ensures that Indiana can seek funding to control and stop the spread of coronavirus. The declaration will be posted at

State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG, 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 patient will remain in isolation for14 days and will not be released until specimens taken two consecutive days at the end of that period test negative for COVID-19. No additional information about the patient will be released due to privacy laws.

“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,” Dr. Box said. “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.”

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.

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.

The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it. A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms to protect others from the risk of infection.

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

Visit the Indiana State Department of Health at


We've just learned that the Indiana Dept. of Health is set to make a coronavirus announcement. Here are the details they have released so far: 

INDIANAPOLIS —The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) will host an important media briefing today to provide updates on COVID-19 and its impact on Indiana. The briefing will be held at 11 a.m. in Room 101 of the Indiana Statehouse, Indianapolis, IN.

A live stream will be available at

Visit the ISDH website at for the latest guidance on COVID-19.

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