Last Updated on March 17, 2020 by Indiana State Department of Health
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SOURCE: News release from Indiana State Department of Health
INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb and the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) today announced the first Indiana death from COVID-19. The patient is a Marion County adult.
“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.”
The adult from Marion County died at a Community Health Network hospital on Monday morning. The person, who was over age 60, had been hospitalized as a COVID-19 patient and also suffered from underlying medical conditions. No further information will be released about the patient or the case.
“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.”
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a novel, or new, coronavirus that has not been previously identified. It is not the same as the type of coronavirus that causes the common cold. To date, 24 Hoosiers across 13 counties have received presumptive positive tests for COVID-19. All but one are adults.
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 and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands; and
- Rarely, fecal contamination.
Many people who acquire COVID-19 will have mild symptoms, can self-isolate and do not need to be tested. Older individuals and those with underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness.
The best ways to protect yourself are to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, avoid close contact with people who are sick, stay home when you’re sick, cover your cough or sneeze and 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.
For a list of counties with positive cases, visit ISDH’s online dashboard at www.in.gov/coronavirus. The dashboard will be updated daily at 10 a.m. and will reflect results received through midnight. The website also includes guidance and a list of frequently asked questions.