A Wayne County resident has died from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), according to confirmation from Wayne County Health Department on Monday.

The individual was an adult male.

“It is tragic whenever there is a loss of life,” said Wayne County Health Officer Dr. David Jetmore. “This is not the kind of news we ever want to announce. We are expecting to continue to see an increase in numbers of positive cases and deaths as this continues. We need to redouble our efforts in keeping each other safe.”

The adult from Wayne County died Sunday evening at Reid Hospital. The person, who was older than 60, had been hospitalized as a COVID-19 patient. No further information about the patient will be released due to privacy laws.

“This threat is real,” said Matthew Cain, director of Wayne County Emergency Management Agency. “The consequences of our action or inactions as they may be are real. We all have the ability to make a difference and we all have the responsibility to do so.”

The Wayne County Health Department has received a total of 12 presumptive positive cases among Wayne County residents.

“There has been a total of 101 residents in Wayne County tested,” Jetmore said. “We all know we are not able to have everyone that needs a test the ability to be tested. That is frustrating for everyone.”

As of Sunday evening, Reid Health had 36 lab-confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in its eight-county service area and 61 patients in Reid containment areas. A total of 213 tests have been submitted for processing. Reid is no longer sharing negative test results as studies are showing a relatively high “false negative” outcome of testing.

As of Monday morning, Wayne County has 12 presumptive positive cases, Henry County has 13, Fayette County has 16, Union County has three and Franklin County has 55.
Wayne County has now reported one COVID death, Fayette County, three, and Franklin County has had six.

So far, Indiana has 4,944 positive cases and 26,191 tests being processed. The death toll has risen to 139 Hoosiers.

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a novel, or new, coronavirus that has not been previously identified. It is not the same as the type of coronavirus that causes the common cold.
COVID-19 is most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:
• Respiratory droplets released into the air by coughing and sneezing;
• Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands;
• Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands; and
• Rarely, fecal contamination.

Many people who acquire COVID-19 will have mild symptoms, can self-isolate and do not need to be tested. Older individuals and those with underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness. The best ways to protect yourself are to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, avoid close contact with people who are sick, stay home when you’re sick, cover your cough or sneeze and clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Remember, frequently touched surfaces could include door handles, counter tops, pump handles at gas stations, pay key pads at stores and money.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Wayne County Health department do recommend all people wear a facemask when in public. This is a departure from recommendations made in the past.

“We still feel the stay at home order is the best thing we can do to mitigate the number of positive cases and deaths due to the COVID-19 epidemic. However, since it is unclear when a patient is shedding the virus and who could be asymptomatic, we all need to wear masks to protect each other,” claimed Christine Stinson, executive director of Wayne County Health Department.

If you have questions or would like more information regarding COVID-19 please visit www.coronavirus.in.us or you can call the Wayne County Health Department at (765) 973-9245.

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