5/6/20 Tippecanoe Health Department

The Tippecanoe County Health Department held a virtual press conference Wednesday afternoon.

The Tippecanoe County Health Officer’s order has been amended to be consistent with the governor's plan, as the state begins to slowly reopen.

Dr. Jeremy Adler, the Tippecanoe Health Department officer, said over 4,000 individuals have been tested in Tippecanoe County, and the health department is also tracking suspected cases.

The majority of new cases reported in Tippecanoe County were due to the Indiana State Health Department testing all Indiana Packers employees, Adler said during a press conference Wednesday afternoon. About 60 Indiana Packers employees who reside in Tippecanoe County tested positive.

Adler said there have been 113 deaths due to probable COVID-19.

There have been no cases in long term care facilities, he said, as well as no clusters in the county currently.

The Indiana State Department of Health is projecting the surge in COVID-19 cases to occur in Indiana this week and next week Adler said, and an increase in deaths is predicted due to the relaxation of physical distancing policies.

Adler said the decision on whether or not to make further restrictions will be based on data such as the percentage of positive tests, the number of hospitalizations, emergency department visits for respiratory illnesses and deaths due to COVID-19.

Jim Bien Chief Medical Officer for IU Arnett said the hospital is seeing a surge with 10 COVID-19 positive patients as of this morning.

He said the hospital has adequate personal protective equipment and is being vigilant regarding those supplies.

“As our state and community begin to reopen, it may be tempting for all of us to think that the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us,” Adler said. “Unfortunately it is not.”

Two additional testing opportunities for testing will open, he said, at the National Guard Armory and Lafayette High School. The ISDH will begin their contact tracing program May 11th.

Adler said individuals must continue to wear face masks, maintain a distance of six feet and limit social gatherings.

“Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should,” West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis said, urging individuals to continue to distance themselves.

Individuals 65 and older or individuals with underlying health conditions should remain at home.

Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski said the city had a second employee diagnosed with COVID-19 and the first employee diagnosed has recovered.

The recovery period can be much longer than anticipated and difficult to determine, Adler said, which is why data on recoveries is not available.

Bien said COVID-19 patients who don’t require hospitalization are being contacted twice a day via an app about their symptoms.

"Dozens of patients I know," he said, "are being monitored in that fashion."

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