Franklin County reports 1st COVID death, Randolph County reports first COVID cases

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Franklin County (Indiana) Health Department has reported that the county has had its first death related to COVID.

The person, a male in his 60s, had been in the care of doctors at an Indiana hospital since March 13. No further information about the patient will be released due to privacy laws. Hospital officials notified the Franklin County Health Department on Wednesday, March 25, of the person’s death.

The total number of Indiana residents known to have the novel coronavirus following corrections is 645 as of Thursday, March 26. Seventeen Hoosiers have died.

Also on Thursday, Randolph County (Indiana) Health Department has reported Randolph County’s first two presumptive positive cases of COVID-19. One resident is currently hospitalized, and the other is recovering at home.

Randolph County Health Department has been working with the individuals and health care systems to identify close contacts that may have been exposed. These contacts will be contacted and assessed for symptoms, advised and monitored accordingly.

Because there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid exposure to the virus.

Randolph County Health Officer Dr. Ken Sowinski urges residents to take the governor’s “stay-at-home” order seriously. Additionally, assure that you:

• 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.
• If you work for an “essential business”, stay home when you 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.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, fever, and shortness of breath. It can range from minor symptoms to severe illness. Anyone who experiences symptoms compatible with COVID-19 is urged to contact a healthcare provider by phone for advice.

Do not go to the hospital emergency room unless essential. Essential would include shortness of breath, dizziness, or severe illness. The safest place for you is in your own bed unless you have the aforementioned symptoms that may require hospitalization. If you need to be seen be sure you call ahead so the medical personnel can care for you safely.

PLEASE CALL AHEAD TO YOUR FAMILY PHYSICIAN OR HOSPITAL AND DO NOT ARRIVE UNANNOUNCED TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM OR DOCTOR’S OFFICE. THE BEST PLACE FOR TREATMENT IS IN YOUR HOME.