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Indiana confirms first COVID-19 death as cases jump to 24 across the state

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Posted at 10:02 AM, Mar 16, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — Governor Eric Holcomb on Monday announced the first person has died from the coronavirus COVID-19 in the state.

“A family today is suffering the ultimate loss due to COVID-19, and this sadly underscores how severe the virus can be – especially for some high-risk Hoosiers,” Gov. Holcomb said. “The state is taking unprecedented actions to slow the spread of COVID-19, and every Hoosier should follow the precautionary measures.

Holcomb made the announcement during an afternoon press conference. The patient who passed away was a Marion County resident and was considered a high-risk patient over the age of 60.

The patient died at a Community Health Network Hospital Monday morning.

“I cannot stress this enough — if you are ill, stay home. If you need to seek medical care, call ahead so that your healthcare provider can take steps to protect others from exposure to COVID-19,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “We all have a role to play to protect Hoosiers from this illness, and the time to act is now.”

At this point, state officials say where patients are getting the virus can't be traced back to Italy or China. Officials said Hoosiers can expect to see more of this as the days go on and said it is imperative that people follow the governor's guidance and stay home.

"To those of you who think we may be overreacting, I can assure you that we are not," Holcomb said. "If you're above age 60, if you have diabetes, cancer, heart condition, lung condition or hypertension, I urge you to self quartantine for the next several days to several weeks."

Officials said Indiana received more test kits at the end of last week and are expecting more this week, however, tests are only being administered to people who are sick enough to be admitted to the hospital with underlying health conditions. Health officials are also prioritizing high risk individuals, people in long-term care facilities and healthcare providers.

"A lot of people who are well want to get tested and I understand that," Box said. "But the reality is you could have minimal symptoms today and be tested and be negative and two days from now be positive for COVID-19 so that gives you a false sense of security."

The Indiana State Department of Health says the number of coronavirus COVID-19 in the state jumped to 24 on Monday.

So far, ISDH has conducted 139 tests for COVID-19 in the state.

The new cases reported Monday include single cases in Bartholomew, Floyd, Marion, Howard and Hendricks counties.

"This is a time of heightened anxieity and concern," Holcomb said. "But it needs to be."


The positive tests have come from the following counties:

  • Adams County
  • Bartholomew County
  • Boone County
  • Floyd County
  • Hamilton County
  • Hendricks County (2)
  • Howard County (2)
  • Johnson County (3)
  • LaPorte County
  • Marion County (6)
  • Noble County
  • St. Joseph County
  • Wells County