First Cases of Coronavirus Confirmed in Kentucky and Indiana

There are currently zero confirmed cases in Ohio with two people undergoing testing

click to enlarge COVID-19 - Photo: CDC
Photo: CDC
COVID-19

The first cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Ohio's neighboring states of Kentucky and Indiana.

The Kentucky case is in Lexington; the Indiana case is in Marion County (where Indianapolis is located). Both individuals are in isolation and the Lexington patient is in a medical facility receiving treatment; the Indiana patient is just described as being in quarantine by the Indiana State Department of Health.

Both Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb notified the public on March 6 of the cases and declared a state of emergency in their respective states. 

“We have been preparing and this was expected as the novel coronavirus spread throughout the world and into neighboring states,” Gov. Beshear said in a release. “We urge Kentuckians not to panic, and to continue taking precautionary steps to protect their health and that of those around them.”

In a press release, Indiana State Health Commissioner Kris Box said, "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. 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.”

No details were given in the press release about the Lexington patient, but the Indiana patient recently traveled to Boston and is being called a "presumptive case" because "the patient has tested positive at the ISDH Laboratories" but those tests need to be sent to the CDC for confirmation.

State Health Commissioner Box said, "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," she said in the release.

Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack also said the risk to the general public in Kentucky is low.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, there are currently zero confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the state, two people are currently under testing for the disease, eight have tested negative and 255 are are under health supervision. Those numbers and more are updated daily at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

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