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Indiana's State Health Director Dr. Kristina Box Tests Positive For COVID-19

(CBS) -- Indiana's health director, Dr. Kristina Box, says she and two of her family members have tested positive for COVID-19.  Gov. Eric Holcomb will be tested this afternoon.

Dr. Box said her daughter and two-year-old grandson also tested positive.  She said she is not showing symptoms and learned of her result today.  Her daughter and grandson have mild symptoms.  The grandson was attending a day care and possibly became infected there, Box said. Holcomb was wearing a mask during his weekly briefing, apparently because of today's last-minute news that Dr. Box had learned of her positive test. He was conducting the news conference alone in his statehouse office. Box joined the briefing by phone.

Holcomb said he will quarantine until he gets the results of his test, both a rapid and more accurate PCR test.  The results should be available tomorrow. Box has undergone contact tracing and is working remotely.

Meantime, even as COVID-19 cases continued to spike across the state, Holcomb said he currently has no plans to roll back the state's reopening plan. Holcomb and state health officials said "COVID fatigue" is driving the case increases and pleaded with Hoosiers to wear masks, avoid large gatherings and stay home if sick and get tested. Holcomb said people are starting to let their guards down and not following basic preventative measures, like mask wearing and social distancing.

The state's mask-wearing mandate remains in effect, the governor said. That order requires Hoosiers to wear masks inside public spaces, on public transportation and outside when social distancing is not possible.

"People should be feeling that the trend is going in the wrong direction and asking what they can do" to reverse the trend, Holcomb said.

The state set records for daily cases late last week and over the weekend.  The number of cases has increased 74% in the past 14 days.  Deaths have risen 21%.  The number of hospitalizations for COVID patients are at their highest since mid May.

That trend is similar in Northwest Indiana, which has seen a significant rise in cases and hospitalizations.  The seven-day case average is at an all time high.

The state's transmission rate also remains high, one of the worst in the country.



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