Is Indiana Ready For Coronavirus?

INDIANAPOLIS — Health experts in Marion County gave some insight into their plans if the coronavirus ever becomes an issue in Indianapolis.

So far, there are no confirmed or suspected cases of the coronavirus in Indianapolis or Indiana. However, if the virus hit Indy, would they be prepared?

“We are kind of planning as if a pandemic is on the horizon,” said Melissa McMasters, who works in the immunization and infectious disease program at the Marion County Health Department, said Wednesday.

McMasters said they started weekly conference calls with local hospital partners more than a month ago. The goal was to figure out how the county would handle a possible coronavirus case.

“There’s not a vaccine for coronavirus, and there’s not a specific treatment for coronavirus,” McMasters said.

As part of Marion County Health Department’s plan, they’re also sending information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to schools and businesses later this week.

“A lot of it is, first of all, encouraging students and employees to stay home if you’re sick. It seems like a simple message, but we all know people work when they’re sick and that’s just going to amplify the spread of this virus,” McMasters said.

McMasters went on to say everyone should be prepared. For instance, people should make sure they have enough of prescription or over-the-counter medications.

“Think about what might happen if your school closes or if child care services aren’t available. Have a backup plan for that,” McMasters explained. “One thing we recommend is kind of designating a place in your house where you might house a sick person so that no one else gets sick.”

The Indiana State Department of Health says it will offer updates on the coronavirus on Thursday afternoon.

 

Newtork Indiana and WISH TV contributed to this story.

 

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