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Whitley County reports first COVID-19 death

WHITLEY COUNTY, Ind. (WPTA21) - Whitley County learned of its first COVID-19 death Monday morning.

The Whitley County Health Department said the man was in his late 50s and didn't have any health issues.

So far, 8 patients have been confirmed to have the novel coronavirus in Whitley County.

State data shows 30 people have been tested for the virus in Whitley County.

Noble, Huntington, Grant, and Allen County have reported at least 1 COVID-19 death.

Every northeast Indiana county is reporting positive cases.

Statewide, Indiana reported nearly 5,000 positive cases and 139 deaths.

A total of 26,191 people have been tested across the state.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST INDIANA COVID-19 DATA REPORTS

Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:

  • Respiratory droplets released into the air by coughing and sneezing;
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands;
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands; and
  • Rarely, fecal contamination.

Many people who acquire COVID-19 will have mild symptoms, can self-isolate and do not need to be tested. Older individuals and those with underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness. The best way to protect yourself is to:

  • Stay home and follow social distancing guidelines regularly updated by the state of Indiana.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

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

Allen County Health Officials are recommending if you were diagnosed with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 OR were clinically diagnosed with COVID-19 based on an evaluation by a physician without laboratory testing here's what you should do:

  • Stay home except to get medical care: If you must seek medical care, make sure arrangements are made ahead of time to avoid additional exposures.
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home: As much as possible, stay in a specific rom and away from other people and animals. Use a separate bathroom if space allows.
  • Wear a facemask: You should wear a facemask if you must be around other people in your home, car or medical provider’s office.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and immediately throw the tissue away in a trash can. Immediately wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol).
  • Avoid sharing personal household items: Do not share drinking glasses, plates, eating utensils, towels or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday: High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Also clean any surfaces that have blood, stool, or other bodily fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe according to the label instructions.
  • Monitor your symptoms: Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g. difficulty breathing). BEFORE seeking care, call your healthcare provider to arrange the visit ahead of time. If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have, or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, wear a face mask before emergency medical services arrive.

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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