Indiana health officials investigating COVID-19 exposure following reports of NCAA fan’s death

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Luke Ratliff, a regular at Alabama basketball games who was better known as “Fluffopotamus”. (Photo from CBS 42 Birmingham)

INDIANAPOLIS — The Marion County Public Health Department and the Indiana State Department of Health confirmed they are reaching out to the state of Alabama to investigate if anyone in Indianapolis may have been exposed to COVID-19 by an Alabama resident who visited Indianapolis in recent days.

“We are conducting an investigation following the county and state’s standard contact tracing procedures,” said Marion County Public Health Department.

This investigation comes on the heels of the announcement of Luke Ratliff’s death, a 23-year-old student at the University of Alabama who died after a brief illness on Friday, days after attending the NCAA Tournament in Indianapolis.

While partner station CBS42 Birmingham couldn’t confirm Ratliff’s cause of death, the Indianapolis Star did report multiple sources — including Tuscaloosa News — confirmed the death was related to COVID-19 complications.

“We continue to encourage residents and visitors to practice the simple and important habits that keep us all safe: wearing a mask, washing hands, and social distancing,” said Marion County Public Health Department.

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