2:31 p.m., March 16 from the Indianapolis Business Journal
Indiana loses first patient to COVID-19
An Indiana COVID-19 patient who was treated at Community Health died on Monday, Gov. Eric Holcomb has announced.
“Sadly, we knew it would happen,” Holcomb said. “We anticipate it will again.”
Dr. Ram Yeleti, chief physician executive at Community Health Network, said the individual was over 60 years old and had health issues. But, he said, the individual “would not have died if not for COVID-19.”
He said the individual’s significant other is also infected, and therefore, the two could not be together. Instead, a Community Health nurse stayed in the room with the individual.
“This is the beginning,” Yeleti said. “This is real.”
Indiana has 24 positive COVID-19 tests. However, state officials have acknowledged there are likely many more cases.
11:31 a.m., March 16
Holcomb directs restaurants, bars, nightclubs to close
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb on Monday morning announced tighter restrictions on everyday life in the state in hopes of stemming the spread of COVID-19, including the closure of bars, restaurants and nightclubs through the end of March..
He also directed hospitals and other health care facilities to cancel elective and non-urgent surgical procedures immediately.
IBJ reported on Sunday night
that three major central Indiana hospital systems already were taking steps to do so.
Holcomb said the state would adhere to the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to limit mass gatherings to no more than 50 people.
The directive on food and entertainment venues came with the caveat that eateries still could provide takeout and delivery service.
This story will be updated.
11:10 a.m., March 16
State reports 24 virus cases, with 7 in Marion County
The Indiana State Department of Health on Monday said the number of presumptive positive cases for COVID-19 in the state has risen to 24, an increase of five cases from Sunday’s report.
No deaths from the virus have been reported.
The health department’s report includes results from tests performed at ISDH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and through a private laboratory. Only 139 tests have been administered so far. Health officials say the Indiana has far more coronavirus cases—possibly hundreds more—than those indicated by the limited number of tests.
The department is providing case updates daily at 10 a.m. based on results received through midnight.
Thirteen counties have reported cases, with four experiencing multiple cases: Marion (7), Hendricks (3), Johnson (3) and Howard (2).
Indianapolis-area counties with single cases are Boone and Hamilton.
The first positive case of COVID-19 in the state, reported March 6, involved a Marion County resident who traveled to Boston in late February to attend the BioGen conference.
As of 10:53 a.m. Monday, 3,813 cases had been reported in the United States with 69 deaths, according to a running tally maintained by health researchers at Johns Hopkins University & Medicine.
More than 174,786 cases have been reported globally with 6,705 deaths. John Hopkins said more than 77,650 people have recovered from the virus.
9:15 p.m., March 15
Hospitals cancel, restrict non-urgent surgeries
As the threat of the coronavirus sweeps across Indiana, hospitals are beginning to cancel or restrict elective, non-urgent surgeries to make room for a possible influx of patients.
Ascension St. Vincent announced Sunday evening it will be canceling elective surgeries effective Tuesday at its flagship hospital on West 86th Street—the city’s largest hospital, with more than 1,600 beds.
Community Health Network hospitals also are postponing elective procedures unless the physician, in consultation with the hospital’s medical director, determines the patient will face a “life-threatening or life-altering risk” in the next 30 days.
A spokesman for Franciscan Health Indianapolis said on Sunday it is restricting the number of elective cases, but has not yet banned surgeons altogether from performing them.