The Allen County Department of Health officials announced that a person who tested positive for COVID-19 attended the Fort Wayne Home and Garden Show at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on Thursday, Feb. 27.
The person who tested positive was only in Fort Wayne on that day. As of now, there has still not been a reported case of COVID-19 in Allen County.
Officials say the risk from this exposure is very low, and Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Deb McMahan said that such exposures will likely occur within the community over the next several months.
COVID-19 has an incubation period of 14 days, and the average person shows symptoms by the fifth day.
Anyone infected from this exposure would likely be already showing symptoms. However, out of an abundance of caution, visitors to the show on Feb. 27 should watch for symptoms for the next 24 hours, until March 12 when the incubation period ends.
McMahan stresses because of its status as a pandemic, Northeast Indiana residents should carry out their typical routines for the time being. She residents should make sure they stay vigilant and practice standard hygiene, while also advising everyone to know the symptoms before seeking a test.
“What we need to do is find a way, right upfront here, is to think, ‘How do we live our lives in a way that we still have meaning, and we still feel good, and we still accomplish critical things, but we don’t overwhelm the health system so that when my dad has a heart attack, he can’t be seen,’" McMahan said.
Health officials urge individuals to go about routine activities like working or going to school, but through March 12 watch for the development of symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath.
The Department recommends the following to February 27 Fort Wayne Home and Garden Showvisitors:
- Take your temperature twice a day and track the results through March 12. If you develop a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher AND a cough, call your family doctor who will determine your best course of action. DO NOT go to an emergency room unless you are also having chest pain and/or shortness of breath or other emergent issue.
- When you call the doctor, be prepared with the date you think you were exposed, your symptoms, any chronic health problems you may have (like heart or lung disease, diabetes, etc.) and have a list of your medications readily available. If you work in a setting with many people or vulnerable populations like the sick or elderly, please let your provider know.
According to the Health Department, coronaviruses, including the one that causes COVID-19, are most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:
- Respiratory droplets released into the air by coughing and sneezing;
- Close, prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands;
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands; and
- Rarely, fecal contamination.