The Indiana State Department of Health announced Thursday it has initiated its Pandemic Preparedness and Response Plan in reaction to the global coronavirus outbreak.
Indiana State Health Commissioner Kris Box says steps outlined for the flu pandemic are being repurposed for the COVID-19, coronavirus.
“Indiana has been actively working to prepare for the eventuality that COVID-19 gains a stronger foothold in the United States,” Box says.
She says it is important to remember the virus has not reached pandemic levels and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says immediate risk for the U.S. is low.
Box says this is not the time to panic, but the time to plan.
“For now, we want Hoosiers to know the best way to protect themselves and their families is to take the same precautions that you would against flu or other respiratory illnesses,” Box says. “Wash your hands thoroughly, cover your coughs and stay home if you’re ill.”
She says there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Indiana. But, 26 Hoosiers are currently being monitored in the state due to recent travel or contact with someone who may have traveled to an affected area. None of these people are showing signs of the virus.
As of now, only 12 states have access to test kits to diagnose coronavirus. Box says Indiana is expecting to receive kits by the end of the week.