State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG, is recovering at home after becoming re-infected with COVID-19, the Indiana Department of Health announced Tuesday.
Box tested positive through a rapid test on Tuesday morning after becoming symptomatic Monday night. She also received a PCR test, which will be sent for sequencing to determine whether she has been infected with the Omicron strain. Indiana and much of the nation are experiencing a surge in cases that is testing healthcare systems, due largely to the highly infectious Omicron variant. On Tuesday, the state reported 8,533 new cases and a seven-day positivity rate of 20.5 percent.
Box, who is fully vaccinated and received a booster dose in November, is one of an estimated 113,000 Hoosiers to suffer a breakthrough case since Jan. 18, 2021. She was experiencing symptoms including muscle aches, chills, coughing and a sore throat and was isolating at home. She will follow the isolation guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which call for her to isolate for five full days and allow her to return to work fully masked on the sixth day if her symptoms are improving.
This is her second time to become sickened with COVID-19, after testing positive in October 2020. An estimated 15,000 Hoosiers have become reinfected with COVID-19. The CDC says some reinfections are expected and is studying the frequency of such cases. Individuals who have previously had COVID-19 should still get vaccinated to prevent serious illness that can lead to hospitalization or death.
COVID-19 can be spread even by people who show no symptoms. Hoosiers can take steps to protect themselves and others during this surge, such as wearing surgical masks or KN95s when in public, staying home when sick, getting tested, getting vaccinated and receiving a booster when eligible. For information on testing sites, click here. Hoosiers aged 5 and older can get vaccinated. To find a vaccine clinic or schedule your appointment for your first, second or booster dose, go to www.ourshot.in.gov.