INDIANAPOLIS — A second person in Indiana has tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Indiana State Department of Health says the latest patient lives in Hendricks County and tested presumptive positive. The patient is in isolation with mild symptoms and is not hospitalized, according to ISDH.
"The patient traveled to Boston in late February to attend the BioGen conference and developed mild flu-like symptoms on March 2," ISDH said in a press release issued Sunday. "More than a dozen COVID-19 cases nationwide have been tied to that conference, including the patient in Marion County who was identified Friday as the state's first coronavirus case. The Marion County patient also remains in isolation at this time with mild symptoms.
"ISDH is working closely with the Hendricks and Marion County health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure that any close contacts of both patients are identified and monitored and that all infection control protocols are being followed."
“With the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the United States and the fact that we are a mobile society, this new case isn’t surprising, but we know it causes concern in the community,” said Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box “I urge Hoosiers to continue to educate themselves about this illness and take common-sense precautions, but also to be aware that the vast majority of COVID-19 cases are mild in individuals without underlying medical conditions.”
Any Hoosiers who attended the BioGen conference have been asked to self-quarantine at home, monitor for symptoms and notify their local health department or health care provider if they develop a cough, fever or shortness of breath.
David Stopperich, M.D., Hendricks County health officer, said the county has prepared for possibilities like a COVID-19 case and assured residents that all necessary steps are being taken to reduce the spread of the illness.
“Our health department and the entire medical community of Hendricks County have been working in conjunction with schools, emergency management and other organizations to develop plans to limit the spread of this disease,” Dr. Stopperich said. “I ask anyone who thinks they might have symptoms of COVID-19 to call a healthcare provider so they can be evaluated by phone before going to a medical facility. This will help further limit any spread of this virus.”
ISDH says all confirmed COVID-19 patients are required to remain in isolation for at least 14 days until they have two consecutive days of negative tests. Anyone who recently visited an area under a Level 3 travel warning is also asked to self-isolate and notify their local health department if they develop any symptoms.
ISDH says their laboratories are currently providing COVID-19 testing every day for patients who meet CDC testing criteria and they have ordered additional testing supplies to make sure they are able to get quick results.
Private labs, including LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics, are also beginning to offer testing for people who do not meet the CDC criteria for the lab tests, according to ISDH. Healthcare providers can determine whether private lab testing is appropriate.
The ISDH call center for healthcare providers and members of the public who have concerns about COVID-19 is now staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 317-233-7125. After-hours calls should be directed to 317-233-1325 and will be answered by an on-call epidemiologist.