MICHIGAN CITY — As cities and counties continue to implement new restrictions to combat the COVID-19 outbreak, a second Indiana person has died from the virus.
The Indiana State Department of Health on Tuesday announced a second Hoosier – a Johnson County adult over age 60 who had been hospitalized – has died. No further information about the patient will be released.
ISDH also announced six new positive cases of COVID-19, including two in Northwest Indiana, bringing the number of Hoosiers diagnosed through ISDH, the CDC and private laboratories to 30.
The new cases involved two residents of Lake County, two in Franklin County and Marion County. For updates, visit in.gov/corona virus/.
One of the Lake County cases is a woman from Hobart. Pastor Jeff Spencer of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church on U.S. 6 announced on Facebook that his wife tested positive and he has been placed on two-week quarantine.
Darlene Spencer went to a doctor last week with fever and breathing difficulties, the pastor wrote on Facebook. She was released but her condition started to get worse, Spencer said.
He said her blood oxygen levels were dropping along with a high fever and trouble breathing when she was admitted to a hospital and placed in ICU, where she was isolated and given the COVID-19 test.
Test results came back positive on Monday night, and Darlene Spencer is on a ventilator and sedated in isolation at the hospital.
“I want you to know it can affect you because it has me,” Spencer wrote. “Should you take caution while out in public, most definitely. But the most important thing you can do is pray and ask God to intervene.”
He said he hopes the people they were in contact with do not become sick and if they are feeling symptoms to isolate themselves.
A GoFundMe page has been set up at gofundme.com/f/pastors-jeffs-wife -in-icu-with-corona-virus to help with her medical costs.
Spencer praised the hospital staff, while writing they are being very cautious.
“We were immediately taken to a room in the ER so as not to be around other people, and mask and gowns are being used by the staff around us. They quickly started doing blood work and x rays along with a CT scan and have limited personal contact to a minimum.
“Yes they are still here doing their best to care for people that come in sick despite the possibility of self infection. Continue to pray for my wife but also for all the doctors and nurses that are putting themselves in jeopardy daily.”
With no confirmed cases in Michigan City, where restaurants, bars, schools, churches, government offices and attractions have been closed, Mayor Duane Parry is urging everyone to stay calm.
“Keep calm and look out for one another,” he said.
The mayor on Monday asked local businesses to abide by the restrictions imposed by the governor and announced City Hall facilities, along with non-essential city services, will be temporarily closing.
City employees will continue to report to work and departments will remain open, Parry said. “The City of Michigan City intends to maintain crucial services and functions.
“In this rapidly changing environment, the City is making decisions that we believe to be in the best interest of our citizens. We understand this will undoubtedly cause inconveniences and disruptions to those who use City Hall services and we are committed to working with our residents under these trying conditions by telephone and Email.”
Individuals with “urgent, time-sensitive situations requiring the attention of City Hall staff” should contact the appropriate department to determine if an accommodation can be made.
“These measures are precautionary and are intended to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus locally,” Parry said.
Updates on closures and other information will be posted on emichigancity.com and the “My Michigan City” Facebook page.
Gov. Eric Holcomb on Tuesday announced further actions the state is taking to stop the spread of the virus. They include:
Activating the Indiana National Guard to be on duty to assist as needed.
Delaying or canceling non-essential public meetings. For essential meetings, one member must be physically present, but others can participate electronically.
Bars, nightclubs and restaurants should now be closed to dine-in patrons. They may provide take-out and delivery services through the end of March.
Indiana Women, Infants, and Children program will continue to serve clients while protecting staff and their families.
The Indiana State Library is closed to the public. Access to online services will continue.