Indiana State Health Commissioner, Family Test Positive for COVID-19

The news comes as the state's coronavirus metrics increase

Indiana Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box answers questions about COVID-19 infections and its impact on the state as Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb listens during a briefing at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Holcomb ordered state residents to remain in their homes except when they are at work or for permitted activities, such as taking care of others, obtaining necessary supplies, and for health and safety. The order is in effect from March 25 to April 7.
Michael Conroy/AP

Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box announced Wednesday that she has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Box confirmed that she and two other members of her family have COVID-19, but that she is not experiencing any symptoms.

Box explained that she and her husband have been seeing extended family since March for family dinners or "sitting out back and enjoying the fire pit."

"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.

The health official said she and her husband's exposure has been "very, very limited" and that they are careful about wearing masks, along with social distancing due to their age.

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.

Her daughter and grandson have shown symptoms, but are doing well. Box said she is asymptomatic.

"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.

In August, Box said that schools can safely reopen, citing improved testing and hospital capacity as helpful safeguards, along with wearing masks, hand-washing and social distancing. She also stressed the importance of staying home when sick or awaiting test results, noting that the best way to prevent a spread is “for everyone to do their part and know when to stay home.”

Box was named Indiana State Health Commissioner in September 2018 and has served as an obstetrician and gynecologist in Indianapolis for 30 years.

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