Two more people in Indiana have been sickened by the coronavirus, boosting the state's total cases to six, health officials said Tuesday.
The two patients with presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 — the disease caused by the virus — are from Adams County, in the northeast of the state, and Boone County, just northwest of Indianapolis, the state Department of Health said.
The state agency and local officials announced Monday that an elementary school student in the Hendricks County community of Avon, just west of Indianapolis, had a presumptive positive case, as did an adult in northeastern Indiana’s Noble County.
The state's two other COVID-19 patients were adults from Hendricks County and Marion County. Both of them tested positive for the disease after traveling to Boston to attend a meeting of the biotech firm Biogen Inc. State officials have said several COVID-19 cases have been tied to that meeting.
Two of the six patients are hospitalized and the other four are in self-isolation, the state health department said Tuesday afternoon. The agency said it's working with local health departments “to identify close contacts of the existing patients and is prepared for the possibility that additional cases may occur."
The state Department of Health said it plans to update its new “COVID-19 online dashboard” each day at 10 a.m. to reflect the findings from additional test results.
For most, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and a cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
The vast majority of people recover.
According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness get better in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover. In mainland China, where the virus first exploded, more than 80,000 people have been diagnosed and more than 58,000 have recovered.
The sickened Avon student led the local school district to cancel classes and all school-related activities until April 6.
In South Bend, the private Stanley Clark School announced Monday that it would be closed this week while a teacher gets tested for COVID-19. School officials said the teacher came into contact with a relative who had direct contact with a person with a confirmed case of the coronavirus, the South Bend Tribune reported.
Indiana University on Tuesday said after its spring break ends on March 22, students on all campuses will be taught remotely. They expect to resume "face-to-face teaching" on April 6.
"Students are encouraged to travel home, if possible, during this time period," the university said in a message to students. "For this two weeks, course work will continue via virtual online teaching. We are investigating how to accommodate classroom activities that typically include laboratories or other in-person interactions, and specific guidance will follow. IU campuses will not close, and residential halls and dining will remain open."