The Scott County Health Department confirmed the county’s first death due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on March 22. The death occurred two days after initially confirming the case.
The patient had a pre-existing condition and was in their 50s, said Brittany Combs, public health nurse at the Scott County Health Department, in a press release. The patient was self-quarantining at their residence, where they died in the early morning hours of Sunday, March 22.
“The person that was diagnosed on Friday, March 20, with Coronavirus in our county is the same person that was confirmed deceased today, March 22,” the health department said in a Facebook post on March 22.
The health department said the patient told health officials during an interview they had not attended any gatherings or events. The health department said it could not release any additional information about the patient because of privacy laws and “have contacted all possible exposures and place of employment” in a Facebook post on March 22.
“We want you to let you know this is not the time to have fear lead us in what we do. We need to be smart. We need to continue to do the steps that the experts tell us will help stop the spread of disease especially to those most vulnerable. We in Scott County have a very large immunocompromised population,” Combs said in a video message posted on the Scott County Health Department Facebook page on March 22.
“We send condolences to the family and friends of the one who passed. This is a stark reminder of the severity of this disease. We as a community must listen to the guidance of the experts and practice all the ways to not spread this disease including social distancing. We all must protect those who are the most vulnerable,” said Dr. R. Kevin Rogers, health officer at the Scott County Health Department, in a press release.
The health department said hand washing for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, avoiding touching one’s eyes, nose, and mouth, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, staying home, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces frequently and covering coughing and sneezing with a tissue and discarding the tissue in the trash will best protect people from COVID-19 and other illnesses.