‘Presumptive positive’ case of virus confirmed in Noble County; clinics closed


KENDALLVILLE, Ind. (WANE) — A patient at Parkview Noble Hospital in Kendallville has been found to have COVID-19, WANE 15 has learned.

Dr. Terry Gaff, Noble County’s health officer, has confirmed that the patient has a “presumptive positive” case of COVID-19. Gaff said results of testing on the patient were received from the state Department of Health Sunday night.

“Presumptive positive” simply means a test has come back positive for the infection, but the Centers for Disease Control must still confirm the case.

Monday afternoon Parkview Health confirmed that a patient who had recently traveled out of state was in isolation at the facility’s intensive care unit.

“The patient is being quarantined in isolation and the health department is actively monitoring people with whom they may have had close contact,” said Terry Gaff, MD, health officer, NCDH. “Out of respect for their privacy, no other details on the patient will be released.”

The patient had been treated at the Parkview Physicians Group – FirstCare Walk-In Clinic in Kendallville on March 1 and the location on New Vision Drive in Fort Wayne on March 5. Both clinics have been closed today for deep cleaning. Following guidance from the Allen County Department of Health and the CDC, co-workers at both clinic locations have been advised to stay home and will be screened Monday for potential exposure.

Health officials are recommending that anyone who visited either clinic and feels they have been exposed should self-monitor for 14 days since the day of potential exposure. This includes checking your temperature twice a day and calling a healthcare provider if you have a fever greater than 100.4 degrees and respiratory symptoms, such as cough or shortness of breath. At this time, the ACDH is not recommending self-quarantine for the general public.

“Parkview Health has been planning and preparing for this situation, and we are following rigorous, CDC-recommended isolation procedures for the health and safety of our patients, co-workers, medical staff and visitors,” said Jeffrey Boord, MD, chief quality and safety officer, Parkview Health. “We continue to work closely with our partner health agencies to follow best practices for the screening, testing and treatment of this virus.”

As of Monday afternoon, the Indiana State Department of Health had confirmed four cases of coronavirus in the state, including the case in Noble County. One other case is in Marion County and two others in Hendricks County. In all, 30 people have been tested with only the four coming back positive.

On Monday, superintendents from East Noble Schools and West Noble Schools sent letters to parents that both said a 54-year-old man had been diagnosed with coronavirus at Parkview Noble Hospital. The letters both indicated the man did not have school-age children.

The letters also said the districts had not been ordered to close schools.

Noble County Emergency Management Director Michael Newton said situation in the county is not an emergency yet, but should be taken very seriously.

“It’s a risk and we look at what we can do to mitigate the risk,” he said. “Do I think we should be very cautious, we should stay on top of it? Yeah. If you’re ill follow up with your health care provider and if you’re sick, stay home.

Congressman Jim Banks said in a statement Monday that his office was aware of the case and has requested “regular updates.”

“Our office has become aware that an individual at Parkview Noble Hospital has been diagnosed with COVID-19. We’ve also learned that the East Noble School Corporation learned of the development and notified families and staff this morning that the infected individual does not have school age children. As such, my office reached out to Parkview Health, the Noble County Health Department and East Noble School Corporation. We’ve requested regular updates on the new coronavirus case and offered any assistance our office can provide.”

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