Cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported at Sacred Heart Home in Noble County, including the first death in the county from COVID-19, the county health department said tonight.
The health department's statement did not say how many cases were reported at the long-term-care facility. Noble County had reported five cases as of 11:59 p.m. Thursday in the Indiana State Department of Health's update reported this morning.
“We know that people older than 60 with underlying health conditions are most at risk during this pandemic," said Dr. Terry Gaff, the county's health officer, in the statement. "We ask that everyone join in our efforts to protect these vulnerable people by not visiting long-term care facilities, but rather using other options, such as offering residents access to mobile devices to continue virtual contact with loved ones through email or video-call applications.”
No further information about the patients will be released because of privacy laws, the county health department said. It said the department was working closely with state and federal officials to implement infection control protocols to prevent further spread within the facility.
According to the statement, the state health department's guidelines include:
- Identifying a separate space that is used only for confirmed or presumed COVID-19 patients;
- Limiting patient contact to only essential direct care providers;
- Establishing a tracking system to monitor and manage infection control activities and residents and staff members who are symptomatic.