Contact tracing underway in Indianapolis after Alabama basketball fan's death

Health officials in Indiana are performing contact tracing after a University of Alabama fan who attended the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament in Indianapolis last weekend reportedly died of COVID-19. 

Luke Ratliff 's mother told The New York Times that her son's death on Friday resulted from COVID-19.

Pamela Ratliff said that her son was hospitalized in Tuscaloosa, Ala. for a cough. 


“He didn’t have any of the typical symptoms until the cough set in this week," she told the Times, adding that doctors first treated her son for bronchitis.

"Based on a recent news story, the Marion County Public Health Department and the Indiana State Department of Health are contacting the Alabama Department of Public Health to determine if anyone in Indianapolis may have been exposed to COVID-19 by any Alabama resident who visited Indianapolis in recent days,'' officials said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press. "We are conducting an investigation following the county and state's standard contact tracing procedures.''

Luke Ratliff was a well-known superfan who regularly attended Crimson Tide men's basketball games.

The school's baseball team honored Ratliff during a moment of silence Saturday, while numerous other messages of support poured in on social media from fans and players as well.


Indiana saw a modest rise in rates of new COVID-19 infections over March, while rates in Alabama have continued to drop. Both states are well under rates seen during spikes in the fall and winter.