IU student becomes first confirmed coronavirus case in Monroe County
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Monroe County has its first official case of COVID-19, and it’s an Indiana University (IU) student.
The school says the student came to IU Health Center IU Bloomington on March 13. They complained of having flu-like symptoms.
“The nurse that saw the patient did test for COVID-19, and it did get sent to the private lab,” explains Beth Rupp, Medical Director at IU Health Center IU Bloomington.
Rupp says the hospital only got the ability to send to their private research labs last week. Currently, the hospital has limited resources.
“We can’t swab every single person that wants to be tested, so we are trying to use some clinical criteria for people that are more likely,” Rupp adds.
The student was put in isolation as soon the test was sent out. So far, the hospital has tested 12 IU students, three others come back negative, while eight remain pending.
“[The student] is now exhibiting only mild symptoms,” says IU Spokesperson Chuck Carney, “The health department is conducting contact tracing to determine others who may have come in contact with the student.”
“[Contact tracing] is something that our nurse and other staff are trained in,” describes Penny Caudill, Administrator with the Monroe County Health Department, saying they seek out the people the infected person may have contacted, “We will go over their risk so that they understand what their risk is, what they need to do, what kind of follow up they need. We go through an extensive history on where they’ve been, what their symptoms are.”
Indiana University is beginning its campus move out over the weekend with it ending the first week of May. They will have two sessions per day.
“The limit is 150 that can come at any one time to move,” tells Brad Seifers, IU Director for Emergency Management.
Seifers’ role is fairly new with Carney saying the school put the emergency management team together in mid-January, as they expected the coronavirus could become a problem.