By RICK CALLAHAN Associated Press
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Two additional cases of the new coronavirus have been diagnosed in Indiana, including one in a suburban Indianapolis elementary school student, bringing the state’s COVID-19 tally to four, the state’s health commissioner said Monday.
Indiana’s other new case of COVID-19 was confirmed in an adult in northeastern Indiana’s Noble County and that person is hospitalized, State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box said at a news conference announcing the two additional presumptive positive cases of the virus.
The infected student is enrolled at Hickory Elementary School in Avon, and a second student in the same school district, the Avon Community School Corporation, is displaying symptoms, said district Superintendent Maggie Hoernemann.
The district is working closely with the Hendricks County Health Department “to determine the web of individuals who have had direct contact with these two students,” Hoernemann said.
The district canceled classes Monday and closed all its schools until March 20, at which time the district’s spring break will be underway. All practices, extracurricular activities and other school events were also canceled. Classes were scheduled to resume April 6.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover. In mainland China, where the virus first exploded, more than 80,000 people have been diagnosed and more than 58,000 have so far recovered.
Box urged parents in the Avon community to jettison their traditional spring break practices and instead keep children at home.
“This is not a spring break where everybody runs out and goes to the mall, goes to the movies, goes to the theater, goes to whatever museum,” she said at a news conference at Avon schools' headquarters. “Which means that you go home and you read books or you play games with your family or you do your video games or whatever those activities are that you can do at home, rather than being out in public.”
Box said 30 people in Indiana have been tested for COVID-19 to date and four of those have tested positive for the virus. Three of those cases are in adults and the fourth is the elementary school student.
Box did not provide details on the Noble County COVID-19 case, but the office of U.S. Rep. Jim Banks said in a statement that the patient was diagnosed at Parkview Noble Hospital, which is in Kendallville, in far northeastern Indiana.
The Indiana State Department of Health announced Sunday that an adult who lives in Hendricks County had tested positive for COVID-19 after traveling to Boston to attend a meeting of the biotech firm Biogen Inc. That person was in isolation and not being hospitalized.
Indiana’s first case was reported Friday in a Marion County adult who had also traveled to the Boston meeting. State officials said several COVID-19 cases have been tied to the Boston meeting.