TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Both state and local officials are monitoring coronavirus as it continues to spread in the U.S.
According to the CDC, 445 people in the United States have been tested for coronavirus with 14 confirmed cases.
Although zero confirmed cases are in Indiana, state health commissioner Kristina Box says officials are preparing for “if and when” the virus spreads to the state.
Box says currently 26 people are being monitored for coronavirus in Indiana due to their history of travel or contact with a person who has traveled to an affected country.
“Being monitored simply means that risk factors exist for possible exposure to COVID-19. It does not mean a person is ill or will become ill. None of the Hoosiers currently being monitored show any signs of coronavirus” Box said.
According to Box the state created a plan to handle pandemics following a flu outbreak and that plan will now be repurposed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
This plan includes communicating with other state and local health professionals, and the steps to take if a large outbreak were to occur in Indiana.
“Simply put, we have done this before and we are ready,” Box said.
For now, Box says the best way to prevent coronavirus is to wash your hands, cover your coughs, and stay home if you’re ill.
Vigo County health educator, Roni Elder, says the county will work with the state to monitor those who travel to mainland China or have come in contact with someone who has.
Bill Riley, communications director with the Vigo County School Corporation, says they are working with the Indiana Department of Education to create a plan to both prevent and respond to coronavirus.