indiana coronavirus

Indiana Governor Tests Negative for Coronavirus After Top Health Adviser's Positive Result

The state’s health commissioner, Dr. Kristina Box, announced by phone during the governor’s briefing Wednesday that she, an adult daughter and her 23-month-old grandson tested positive for the coronavirus

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has tested negative for coronavirus after the state's top health adviser announced Wednesday that she was positive and was quarantining in her home.

Members of the governor's team and the state's health department were also tested with negative results reported, the governor's office said in a release.

The state’s health commissioner, Dr. Kristina Box, announced by phone during the governor’s briefing Wednesday that she, an adult daughter and her 23-month-old grandson tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday. Box said she didn’t yet have any symptoms, while her daughter and grandson have mild symptoms, and believed the infections stemmed from her grandson’s home day care site.

Holcomb and members of his staff did not meet the requirements to be considered a close contact with Box and will resume their normal schedules, his office said Thursday.

“[Chief Medical Officer Dr. Janet Weaver] and I are wishing Dr. Box and her family a speedy recovery,” Holcomb said in a statement. “The coronavirus does not discriminate, and this further highlights the importance of wearing masks and social distancing.”

In a virtual press conference Wednesday, Box said her grandson was the first to experience symptoms after attending an at-home daycare where two employees tested positive.

Box said she and her husband have been seeing extended family since March but that her exposure outside her family has been "very, very limited" as the two are careful about wearing masks and practicing social distancing due to their age.

"From the beginning of this pandemic, my husband David and I have included in our kind of social bubble, family bubble our four grown children and their spouses, three of which live here in town, and our 23-month-old grandson Liam," Box said.

Box said her grandson goes to an outside, home daycare, where she explained he was picked up Friday with a cold.

Box's daughter ended up with the cold over the weekend, then two daycare workers tested positive for the virus.

After the workers received their results, the family was all tested, which showed Box, her daughter and her grandson all had COVID-19.

"God willing none of us will become more ill than mildly symptomatic," Box said.

Indiana's health commissioner has been tracking the coronavirus over past months and aided Gov. Eric Holcomb in making decisions regarding the state's coronavirus response plan.

Indiana officials took away nearly all restrictions on the state over the past month after analyzing data from the state's health department. Metrics have continued to increase in Indiana in recent weeks, according to data from the ISDH.

"Our numbers are not good and they're very concerning and it's especially concerning to me to see what's happening in our hospitals across the state," Box said Wedneday. "Please, please be responsible."

On Wednesday, health officials in Indiana reported 1,172 new cases of coronavirus, along with 14 additional deaths attributed to the virus.

According to data released by the ISDH, Wednesday's new cases bring the statewide total to 139,269 total cases since the pandemic began, with 3,609 total fatalities related to COVID-19.

Holcomb said he decided against reinstating tougher restrictions on businesses and crowd sizes despite the state’s sharp increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations and new infections.

Holcomb announced he would extend his statewide mask order for another month while scolding those across the state who he said were showing disregard for the safety of others, putting the ability of schools to remain open and the health of those most at risk of severe illness from the virus in jeopardy.

“Those inactions are costing, just to be blunt, health care costs, lost wages, business failures. Don’t kid yourself, we’re all paying this bill,” Holcomb said.

NBC Chicago/Associated Press
Contact Us