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Indiana State Health Commissioner: Hoosier COVID-19 testing ramping up

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Dr. Kris Box, state health commissioner.

INDIANA (WPTA21) - Indiana's top medical officer says Hoosiers should expect more positive cases of the novel coronavirus statewide as the state's testing capabilities are bolstered.

During a news conference Thursday afternoon while Gov. Eric Holcomb announced he is extending Indiana's state of emergency, Indiana Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box also addressed questions over COVID-19 testing.

Compared to Wednesday, Thursday's number of patients tested increased by 187.

As of Thursday, a total of 380 Hoosiers were tested for COVID-19. A total of 56 patients have tested positive for the virus, and two people have died in Indiana.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE CURRENT INDIANA COVID-19 MAP

Dr. Box said in the past 24 hours, about 200 tests have been completed.

Just after 4 p.m. Thursday, the Allen County Health Department announced 2 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Allen County.

Right now, the Indiana Department of Health's website doesn't show that updated data, because Dr. Box said they update that information daily at 10 a.m.

“As we increase the number of tests analyzed each day, no one should be caught off guard that the number of positive cases will increase,” said Dr. Kris Box, state health commissioner. “This will help us know where community spread is occurring in Indiana and help us mobilize resources in affected areas.”

"You are seeing that ramp up right now. You will see that over the weekend,"

Globally, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is at 222,642 Thursday morning, with 9,115 deaths.

More than 84,506 people have recovered from the virus globally.

In the United States, the death toll has climbed to at least 150, with at least 9,415 infected.

Northeast Indiana has four reported positive COVID-19 cases: Wells, Allen, Adams and Noble counties.

READ MORE: Allen County Health Commissioner: ‘There is COVID-19 in our community’

Indiana Health Officials said Hoosiers should try to exercise and get some fresh air outdoors while practicing social distancing.

Even though testing is becoming more available, health officials want the public to know that testing for COVID-19 is not currently available on-demand or by request.

Dr. Box said most individuals with mild symptoms do not need to be tested due to a shortage of supplies.

Anyone with a fever of 100 degrees F AND a cough should first call their healthcare provider to discuss their symptoms and determine the next course of action. 

The following local healthcare providers have set up specific screening for COVID-19:

  • Fort Wayne Medical Education patients should call 260-423-2675
  • IU Health patients should download the telemedicine application IU Health Virtual Visit and follow directions OR call 260-234-5400
  • Lutheran Health patients should call 260-435-5050
  • Parkview patients should call 1-877-PPG-TODAY or their specific provider; Parkview has also set up a self-screening website at Parkview.com/covid19screening
  • Neighborhood Health Clinic patients should call 260-458-2570

If you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect you are infected with the virus:

  • Stay home unless you need to seek medical care.
  • Avoid public areas and public transportation
  • Stay away from others as much as possible, especially people who are the most at risk such as older adults with multiple medical problems and those with a weakened immune system
  • Don’t shake hands
  • Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening such as difficulty breathing and call your doctor or healthcare facility before you seek care.

General questions about COVID-19 may be directed to the ISDH Epidemiology Resource Center at 317-233-7125 [317-233-1325 after hours] or e-mail epiresource@isdh.in.gov.

Coronavirus resources

  • Click here for the latest CDC novel coronavirus resources and links.
  • Track the COVID-19 globally using this map tracker here.
  • You can view the latest Indiana COVID-19 numbers here.
  • Track Ohio's coronavirus numbers here.
  • Need to get tested? Click here to find a testing site near you.
  • You can catch up on the latest ABC21 coronavirus coverage here.
  • Sign up here for the latest local, state and national news regarding COVID-19.
  • Click here to sign up for ABC21 News and Weather Alerts

Kayla Crandall

Kayla Crandall is an Emmy award-winning journalist. She serves as the Social Media and Digital Content Manager at WPTA. Follow her on Twitter @KaylerJayne.

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