ANDERSON — Health officials in Madison County warned the county is likely to see an increase this week in the number of positive tests for COVID-19.
The warning came on the same day a third person in Madison County has tested positive for the new coronavirus.
The Madison County commissioners were informed Monday by Dr. Stephen Wright, the county’s health officer, and Dr. Troy Abbott, president of the county Board of Health, that there are 16 county residents in isolation at the two Anderson hospitals.
Both doctors said they expected Madison County could experience the first death from COVID-19 this week and the number of cases to increase this week.
Wright said that Ascension St. Vincent Anderson has seven patients in isolation waiting testing and Abbott said the nine beds for COVID-19 at Community Hospital are full.
Wright said the incubation period is from seven to 12 days when a person can spread the virus either from person to person or on a surface.
“Most cases are mild, but it could become worse,” he said. “We’re starting to see young people infected. There is a 23-year-old that tested positive.”
Wright said 20% of the Madison County population is at risk for the need for intensive health care.
“We’re not going to stop it, we can slow it down,” he said.
Wright said both hospitals have dedicated areas for respiratory patients.
He said all the extended care facilities in the county have been told not to send patients to the hospitals for ordinary care.
“We’re working to keep the hospital beds open,” Wright said.
Abbott said Madison County has an older population than in Indianapolis and the county will have more problems.
“We normally follow Indianapolis by two or three days,” he said.
Wright said with the warmer weather as people start going outside the virus will slow.
“My concern is next winter when people spend more time indoors,” he said. “We could see another spike.”
Both Wright and Abbott said they hope people comply with the Governor’s order to stay home at least until April 7.
“Restrict movement,” Wright said. “Stay home, don’t go to Florida.”
The Madison County Health Department confirmed a third positive case in the county.
Stephenie Grimes, administrator with the local department, said employees are conducting an investigation to determine possible exposure to family, friends and others in the community.
The health department will not release where the person resides due to federal health privacy laws.
The Herald Bulletin received an email Monday from a family member of a 72-year-old man who tested positive and was hospitalized on life support.
The Health Department confirmed the third local case was a 72-year-old man.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed an executive order Monday for all Hoosiers to stay home through April 7 beginning at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.
The Madison County Health Department announced Sunday that a female in their 20s tested positive for COVID-19.
Last week, Grimes said a woman in her 60s had tested positive for the virus.
Grimes said Sunday that both of those people were self-quarantining.
The state office on Monday reported 259 people in the state have tested positive for the virus, up from 201 on Sunday.
Seven people have died in Indiana from COVID-19 and 1,960 people have been tested.
There are 110 positive cases in Marion County and 21 in Hamilton County.
Delaware and Grant counties have three people who tested positive and none are reported in Henry County.