INDIANAPOLIS — A Hoosier has died from the coronavirus.
Gov. Eric Holcomb and other state health experts have confirmed Monday that the person died in Marion County. The person was over the age of 60 and had underlying health conditions.
“A family today is suffering the ultimate loss due to COVID-19, and this sadly underscores how severe the virus can be – especially for some high-risk Hoosiers,” Gov. Holcomb said. “The state is taking unprecedented actions to slow the spread of COVID-19, and every Hoosier should follow the precautionary measures.”
It is Indiana’s first death from the coronavirus.
Community Health chief physician executive Ram Yeleti says the patient’s partner is also hospitalized with the virus. He says they had to be kept apart for health reasons, and exchanged their final messages via iPad.
Holcomb says the death is almost certainly just the first of more to come. State health commissioner Kris Box says the death is yet more proof that the virus can’t be shrugged off. She says it demonstrates that the virus is being spread within Marion County — the patients have no connection to travelers from China or Italy, nor to out-of-town conference attendees who have been linked to some cases.
New numbers released by the state health department revealed today that 24 Hoosiers had the coronavirus out of 139 people tested. Box says the state received more testing kits over the weekend, but is still being cautious in how they’re parceled out, prioritizing health care workers and people sick enough to be hospitalized.
To help prevent the spread of the virus, Gov. Holcomb has also ordered all bars, entertainment venues, and restaurants to close in-establishment dining and move to a take-out or to-go approach. In Indianapolis, Mayor Joe Hogsett has ordered movie theaters and gyms to close as well.
“For those who believe we are overreacting, I can assure you we are not,” Holcomb said. “We are at war with COVID-19.”
Holcomb said the order is in line with advice from the CDC that organizations postpone or cancel events that would have more than 50 people attending over the next eight weeks.