State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG, said that the adult patient
has been in quarantine since arriving back in Indianapolis and that the risk
to the general public is low. The CDC will work to identify and notify air
travelers who were on the individual’s flight from Boston and had close
contact with the patient.
The patient will remain in isolation for 14 days and will not be released
until specimens taken two consecutive days at the end of that period test
negative for COVID-19. No additional information about the patient will be
released due to privacy laws.
“The state health department has been preparing for weeks to ensure that we
have the resources and systems in place to limit or prevent the spread of
COVID-19 in Indiana,” Box said. “Given the global spread of this illness,
the question was never if Indiana would have a case, but when it would
arrive. I want to stress that this is an isolated case, and that this
patient and the hospital did everything possible to limit the risk of
exposure to other individuals. Because of those steps, the risk of
additional exposure and community transmission is low, but we are taking
every precaution to prevent new infections related to this patient.”
Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others
through the following:
--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 best way to protect yourself from any respiratory illness, including the
flu, is to do the following:
--Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap
and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
--Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
--Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
--Stay home when you are sick.
--Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the
--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.
“This is an ongoing situation and is evolving rapidly,” the statement said.
For more information, including a list of frequently asked questions, visit