Indiana Confirms Second Coronavirus Case, Cases Spike In Other Midwest States

Mar 6, 2020

Indiana officials reported the state’s first presumed case of illness from the new coronavirus on Friday and then a second case on Saturday. Illinois has confirmed seven cases of COVID-19.

 

Cases spiked over the weekend, Kentucky and Iowa jumped to three cases of the virus, and one COVID-19 case in Missouri. Health officials in Ohio say they are preparing for potential cases. 

Minnesota officials also confirmed one case of the virus on Friday afternoon. 

Indiana State Health Commissioner Kris Box says a Marion County adult who recently traveled to Boston is in isolation with COVID-19. She called it an isolated case.

READ MORE: Coronavirus spreads across the Midwest -- a news roundup

Speaking at a news conference Friday morning, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb says he’s declared a public health emergency in the state. That opens the door to federal funding.

Box urged people who suspect they were exposed to the virus and show symptoms to call their doctor or health department. That will allow medical facilities to prepare and avoid additional exposure.

The case is currently presumptive because it must await final confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's lab. 

READ MORE: Coronavirus: U.S. Death Toll Now At 14; New Cases In Maryland, Colorado, Pennsylvania

The patient called the Indiana State Department of Health Thursday night and said there was a possibility he was infected. He was told to go to Community Hospital North. 

Once there, he remained in the parking lot until health care staff escorted him in a side door, while wearing protective clothing.He was then examined in a room designed for infectious diseases.

Community Health Network’s Dr. Ramarao Yeleti says no other patients were exposed.

“We were exceedingly cautious in the route he took and had minimal to zero exposure to anybody that did not have protective infectious disease material,” Yeleti says.

The patient’s symptoms are mild. Health officials are investigating to determine if the individual infected others. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still have to confirm the test results. 

Speaking at a news conference Friday morning, Gov. Eric Holcomb says he’s declared a public health emergency in the state. That opens the door to federal funding.

Box urged people who suspect they were exposed to the virus and show symptoms to call their doctor or health department. That will allow medical facilities to prepare and avoid additional exposure.

State and federal health officials continue to point to steps Hoosiers can take to protect themselves, including washing hands, not touching your face and staying home if you’re sick.

State and federal health officials continue to point to steps Hoosiers can take to protect themselves, including washing hands, not touching your face and staying home if you’re sick.

Contact Darian at dbenson@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @helloimdarian.

Indiana Public Broadcasting's Scott Cameron and Lauren Chapman contributed to this story. 

This is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. However, we recommend checking the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Indiana State Department of Health for the most recent numbers of COVID-19 cases.