First COVID-19 death in Putnam County confirmed

Wednesday, March 25, 2020 ~ Updated 3:19 PM

Putnam County Health Department (PCHD) on Wednesday confirmed the first death related to coronavirus (COVID-19) of a Putnam County resident.

The adult from Putnam County passed away at an outlying facility on Wednesday morning. The person, who was over age 60, had been hospitalized as COVID-19 patient and also suffered from underlying medical conditions. No further information will be released about the patient or the case.

“It is with a sad heart as the County Health Officer to share the devastating news of the first COVID-19 related death in our county,” Health Officer Dr. Robert Heavin said.

“Please continue to pray for this family and for our community during this very difficult time.”

As of Thursday, Putnam is one of 10 counties with a COVID-19-related death, along with Marion (six deaths), Johnson (three) and one each in Allen, Delaware, Franklin, Hancock, Howard, Jasper and Scott counties.

Across the state, a total of 17 Hoosiers had died in the pandemic.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) had released its latest numbers on the COVID-19 pandemic, confirming the second case of COVID-19 in the county.

While information is being tracked based on a patient’s county of residence — not the location of diagnosis or death — state and local health authorities are taking steps to protect the privacy of individual patients.

Heavin emphasized the importance of following the orders put in place by the governor.

“Our goals are to minimize additional deaths and minimize contacts by following the social distancing guidelines in Governor Eric Holcomb’s Executive Order 20-08. As a community, we need to protect one another and continue to shelter in place and stay home. Remember, hand washing is the first line of defense in prevention, along with sanitizing surfaces and social distancing (stay at least 6 feet away from others).

“I want to stress the importance of following the Executive Order and shelter in place until April 7,” he added.

With the ongoing spread of the disease as well as an increase in testing, the state has seen an explosion in new cases in recent days.

In total, the ISDH reported 115 new positive cases on Tuesday and 168 new cases on Wednesday. These number reflected testing through ISDH, the CDC and private laboratories.

The total stood at 645 Hoosiers who had been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus as of the end of the day on Wednesday.

A total of 4,651 tests have been reported to the state. The number of tests is provisional and reflects only those reported to ISDH. Numbers should not be characterized as a comprehensive total.

Marion County had 293 total cases as of the end of the day Wednesday, following by Hamilton with 40, Johnson with 36 and Lake with 31.

In adjacent counties, Hendricks County has had a total of 21 positive cases, with seven in Morgan, four in Owen and two in Montgomery.

Clay and Parke counties have thus far had no positive tests.

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) will provide updates as new information becomes available. Visit the Putnam County Health Department website at for more information and the website links to ISDH and CDC on COVID-19 in Indiana.

View 11 comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. Please note that those who post comments on this website may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.
  • How incredibly sad. I’m praying for the family.

    -- Posted by bcqmom on Wed, Mar 25, 2020, at 3:15 PM
  • Incredibly saddened by this news. Prayers for this family.

    -- Posted by kbmom on Wed, Mar 25, 2020, at 3:41 PM
  • Such a sad situation. Many prayers for the family.

    -- Posted by Nit on Wed, Mar 25, 2020, at 4:34 PM
  • So very sorry fo the the family . Prayers are with them .

    -- Posted by l.sillery73 on Wed, Mar 25, 2020, at 5:01 PM
  • I'm sorry there have been people succumbing to the coronavirus. However, I'm of the opinion that it is over blown. The hype is overwhelming. It's not as bad as the media is portraying it.

    -- Posted by watchman on the wall on Wed, Mar 25, 2020, at 7:35 PM
  • Watchman on the wall I pray that your family and friends escape this nasty virus. I hope your circle of friends and family are not the ones that continue to go out in public unnecessarily. If you worked in healthcare and witness a patient that decompensated in front of you with the virus going into respiratory arrest I believe you would think differently. Myself as much as anyone doesn't want to believe this is real but....WELL it is. The best thing everyone can do is follow guidelines and shelter in place if not for yourself you family and friends. This virus doesn't chose the old and unhealthy it is attacking our children to the mature age citizens. Money will not buy anyone out of this. Compassion, calm, and respect for human life will be of great value.

    -- Posted by on Thu, Mar 26, 2020, at 8:06 AM
  • Thank you for your wisdom, Mheavin64. Viruses are not mobile. They don't have little feet to transport themselves. Instead, they rely on hosts to do that--people in movement who are in contact with other people, over and over again, constantly spreading this virus. Please, watchman on the wall and others who believe that this is hype, don't be a host and a transporter for this malevolent virus for which there is no cure. Please do your part and stay home. Be an introvert!

    -- Posted by barnbats on Thu, Mar 26, 2020, at 10:08 AM
  • Better safe than sorry is the plan for this right now, but for how long I wonder? Unless every country in the world follows this plan, won't we continue having spikes in infections until there is enough vaccine ready for everyone? Is this how we are going to live for the next 1-2 years?

    -- Posted by Raker on Thu, Mar 26, 2020, at 10:21 AM
  • Thank you Mheavin64, we all should have compassion for one another no matter our situation. If you’re not in healthcare you have no idea what this means for all of us.Stay safe everyone and by all means love one another enough to stay home and social distance. Pray for the essential workers in healthcare and those going into homes with unknown certainty.

    -- Posted by Ronnie Leann on Thu, Mar 26, 2020, at 10:22 AM
  • Sad to hear about this, condolences to the family.

    -- Posted by Raker on Thu, Mar 26, 2020, at 12:45 PM
  • So sad for this family. Sending prayers to you all.

    -- Posted by Queen53 on Thu, Mar 26, 2020, at 3:19 PM
Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: