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Coronavirus has spread to Indiana. Here’s how health officials responded to the state’s first case

Posted at 12:16 PM, Mar 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-06 12:16:52-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Knowing the possible symptoms, Indiana’s first COVID-19 patient called the Indiana State Department of Health before going to the hospital. This action allowed doctors and emergency staff at Community North Hospital to be prepared for the case.

The man, a Marion County resident who had just returned from a work conference in Boston, stayed in the parking lot when he arrived at the hospital.

RELATED | First case of coronavirus confirmed in Indiana

At about 11:30 p.m., he was taken inside by physicians wearing infectious diseases protective gear, Community Health Network Physician Dr. Ram Yeleti said. The man was taken inside through a side door and placed in an isolation room with negative air flow in the hospital.

After a couple hours of testing, the man left the hospital and returned to a self-quarantine. Yeleti said at no time were other patients or caregivers were exposed to the man.

“We were exceedingly cautious about the route he took,” he said.

Because of the caution, Yeleti said all other patients at Community North are still safe from COVID-19.

“There is no risk of them getting infected right now,” he said.

Before calling the health department, the man was showing the following symptoms:

  • A sore throat
  • Low-grade temperature
  • Cough

Health officials said the man did not need to be kept in the hospital because his case is considered mild.

If you believe you may have COVID-19 or are showing symptoms that could be related, call the hospital or health department before arriving.