State confirms Jackson County’s first COVID-19 death

Staff Reports

The Indiana State Department of Health announced Jackson County’s first COVID-19 death Tuesday.

That death, which occurred April 22, was listed as part of the state’s daily COVID-19 data report available at

During Schneck Medical Center’s community update at noon Tuesday, Dr. Eric Fish confirmed the death of the Jackson County resident.

Fish, executive vice president and chief operating officer for the Seymour hospital, said the death had to be listed as COVID-19, but the patient had some co-morbidities that contributed to their death.

He also reported a second person’s death at Schneck has been attributed to COVID-19. That person was a resident of another county.

Also Tuesday, Dr. Lindsey Weaver, chief medical officer for the state health department, announced COVID-19 testing will be available to Hoosiers meeting certain criteria, including exhibiting symptoms of the virus.

The expanded testing, announced during Gov. Eric Holcomb’s daily update, will be accomplished through a collaboration between the state and OptumServe Health Services.

Testing sites initially will be put in place at 20 National Guard armories around the state in the next seven days, and 30 more sites will be added within the next 14 days, Weaver said. Once all 50 sites are operating, up to 6,600 Hoosiers can be tested per day.

The nearest testing sites among the first 20 to open will be in Columbus and Scottsburg.

The free testing will provide a more complete picture about the spread of the virus and high-risk communities, Weaver said.

Those sites will be open for testing at least eight hours a day Monday through Friday to test people exhibiting symptoms, close contacts of people infected with the virus and residents of congregate living settings. Results should be returned within 48 hours on average.

Weaver said more information about the testing will be available in the coming days.

She said the testing will allow the state to focus on those in long-term care facilities and other identified hot spots.

Indiana is just the second state to offer the testing through Optum, she said. The company began similar testing in California earlier this week.

The state’s daily report also showed 125 Jackson County residents have tested positive for the virus, up from 118 on Monday.

Statewide, there were 57 new COVID-19 deaths reported Tuesday, bringing the total to 901. Another 91 probable deaths have been reported.

Of the deaths, 260 were patients in long-term care facilities, and 85 such facilities in the state have had at least one patient death since the state’s first reported COVID-19 death March 13.

Probable deaths are those for which a physician listed COVID-19 as a contributing cause based on X-rays, scans and other clinical symptoms but for which no positive test is on record. Deaths are reported based on when data are received by ISDH and occurred over multiple days.

The state also announced 650 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing at ISDH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and private laboratories. That brings to 16,588 the total number of Indiana residents known to have the novel coronavirus following corrections to the previous day’s total.

To date, 87,181 tests have been reported to ISDH, up from 84,476 on Monday.

Fish reported Schneck has administered 895 tests, and 174 of those tests have returned positive, 604 were negative and 106 are pending. The other 10 were insufficient samples.

Of those testing positive, 109 were Jackson County residents, 35 were from Jennings County, 14 from Scott County, six from Washington County and five from Bartholomew. There also has been one person each from Lawrence, Jefferson, Brown, Clark and Johnson test positive after being tested at Schneck.

Nearly 45% of the deaths around the state involved Hoosiers over the age of 80, and 27.9% were between 70 and 79 years old. Another 18.9% were between the ages of 60 and 69.

The state also reported Tuesday that 79.5% of the 3,180 ventilators were available for use and 42.2% of the 3,271 intensive care beds were unused.