Community Hospital in Munster has begun working on discharge plans for the patient diagnosed with the first US case of MERS, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. The hospital Tuesday said the man, a healthcare worker in Saudi Arabia who made a planned visit to northwest Indiana, is expected to be released to home isolation in the coming days and will remain there until he is cleared by the Indiana State Department of health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As a precaution, employees who had direct contact with the patient remain off-duty and in temporary home isolation and are being closely monitored for symptoms. Those employees have tested negative for MERS, and the hospital continues with daily monitoring. The affected employees’ incubation period ends Sunday, May 11, and a statement from the hospital says they will be tested shortly thereafter to confirm a second negative test prior to being cleared to return to work. “Regarding the affected patient, at no time during his stay in the hospital were any other patients or visitors at risk because he was in a private setting at all times and the MERS virus is believed to require very close contact for transmission,” said Don Fesko, Community Hospital CEO.