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Southern Indiana officials prep as at least 30 people are being monitored for coronavirus in state

The Floyd County Health Department and other government officials said they are working to find potential community shortfalls.

Editor's Note: The Indiana State Department of Health clarified that at least 30 people are being monitored, but have not been tested for coronavirus.

As the coronavirus spreads into the United States, southern Indiana officials said they want to stay in front of it.

There are no confirmed cases in Floyd County, or even in Indiana, but officials said there are at least 30 people are being monitored in the Hoosier state for the virus right now. The Indiana State Department of Health clarified that none of the individuals are currently showing symptoms.

Floyd County leaders said they are already having conversations to find any potential community shortfalls.

"We plan on continuing to have those, as well as even reaching out to our department heads so that way we can develop a proactive plan," John Schellenberger, Floyd County commissioner, said.

Floyd County Health Officer Tom Harris said cases of the coronavirus are generally less severe, but the number of people exposed is unknown.

"The number of people who are exposed who get the illness is unknown, it may be as high as 30%," Harris said. "Traditionally most respiratory flus have been in the 15% range."

According to the World Health Organization, 80% of coronavirus cases are mild, about 14% are severe and around 6% are critical.

Harris said children don't seem to be at a high risk of getting the virus, but people over 60 or with underlying health problems are at risk.

Indiana does now have kits to test for the coronavirus, but those are only done at the state level. 

"This is a problem because you're looking at 24 to 36 hour turnarounds to confirm cases," Harris said. "This can lead to issues identifying people who are sick, and taking measures to mitigate complications."

Right now, Harris said there's no indication that this would become widespread in the community, but while county leaders prepare their defense, they are asking people at home to do the same. 

"We really want people to improve their personal hygiene game because it's going to keep you from getting sick with the standard viruses that are going around much less Covid 19," Harris said. "So improving your personal hygiene game is a good thing you need to encourage your friends to do that as well."

General tips include getting a regular flu shot and practicing good hygiene measures.  Washing your hands is always the best way to cut down on the spread of germs and viruses, and there is a recommended way for proper hand washing. You can see the tips here.

You can read the entire Floyd County presentation right here.

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