Coronavirus: Two New Counties Report Cases, More Universities Cancel In-Person Classes

Mar 12, 2020

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The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 global outbreak a pandemic Wednesday, as several Indiana universities canceled in-person classes, two counties reported cases and several large sporting events in Indiana closed to the public. 

Two Counties Report COVID-19 Cases

St. Joseph County announced Wednesday afternoon its first known case of coronavirus. The confirmed case is a man in his 50's and local health officials say he’s in self quarantine at home. They are still in the process of tracing where he got the virus but say he was in close contact with someone else in Indiana who was confirmed earlier this week with COVID-19.

County officials estimate they’ve tested between 50 and 60 people in the county for COVID-19 so far. They expect more positive cases in the coming days.

READ MORE: What Do You Need To Know About Coronavirus? We’ve Got Answers.

And in Allen County, 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.

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 until March 12 when the incubation period ends.

Ball State, University Of Notre Dame Cancel In-Person Classes

The University of Notre Dame announced Wednesday morning it would cancel in-person classes, at least through April 13. 

Notre Dame president, Father John Jenkins, said in a statement: “Although there are currently no reported cases of the coronavirus at Notre Dame, the probability that it will spread to our region is high.” 

Wednesday afternoon, Ball State University joined Purdue University suspending in-person classes indefinitely. Indiana University and several other colleges in the state are suspending in-person classes after their spring breaks.

NCAA, Big Ten Close Tournaments To Fans

Wednesday evening, the NCAA announced it is closing events to fans including the upcoming men’s and women’s Division I basketball tournament games over concerns about the coronavirus. That decision also affects men’s Division III and women’s Division I tournament play in Fort Wayne.

March Madness is one of the organization’s most profitable sporting events bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

The same day, the Big Ten also announced fans would no longer be able to attend men’s basketball conference games in Indianapolis the rest of the tournament.

The Mid-American Conference men’s and women’s basketball tournaments scheduled this week will also be closed to the public.

Contact Lauren at lchapman@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @laurenechapman_.

This is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. However, we recommend checking the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Indiana State Department of Health for the most recent numbers of COVID-19 cases.