March 14 update from Indiana State Department of Health

NOTE: For the latest U.S. information and updates, the White House Coronavirus Task Force recommends that people visit coronavirus.gov.

SOURCE: News release from Indiana State Department of Health

INDIANAPOLIS —The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) today reported three new presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, bringing to 15 the number of Hoosiers diagnosed through ISDH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and private laboratories. All but one are adults.

The new cases involve residents of Marion, LaPorte and Wells counties and have been included on ISDH’s online dashboard at in.gov/coronavirus. The dashboard is updated daily at 10 a.m. Other counties with positive cases are Adams, Boone, Hendricks, Howard, Johnson, Noble and St. Joseph.

ISDH continues to work with local health departments to identify close contacts of the existing patients and ensure that infection-control protocols, such as self-isolation and monitoring for symptoms, are implemented.

Other developments:

  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has updated its nursing home visitation guidance. This guidance requires facilities to restrict all visitors and non-essential healthcare personnel, except for compassionate care situations such as end-of-life situations. 
  • The CDC has posted new guidance for schools and childcare facilities, including a decision tree to help school officials reduce the risk of illness.
  • The ISDH lab continues to prioritize testing for individuals who are at high risk.
    • Individuals who do not meet those criteria are encouraged to consult their healthcare provider about private testing. Most people with COVID-19 will develop mild symptoms and do not need to be tested.
  • The ISDH call center is experiencing extremely high call volume.
    • The ISDH general call center number is 317-233-7125. Calls after 8 p.m. should go to 317-233-1325 and will be answered by an on-call epidemiologist. Call center staff will not offer personal medical advice or provide test results. If you are sick, consult your healthcare provider.
  • Hoosiers are encouraged to sign up at in.gov/coronavirus to receive alerts and the latest updated guidance as the outbreak evolves.

About COVID-19
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a novel, or new, coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing COVID-19 is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

  • 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, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands; and
  • Rarely, fecal contamination.

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.

Visit the Indiana State Department of Health at http://www.in.gov/isdh/ or follow us on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/StateHealthIN.

NOTE: Find our additional coverage of COVID-19 here.