Wayne County Health Department has announced the third death of a Wayne County resident from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The patient was an adult male older than 70 who died April 22 at Reid Hospital in Richmond.

No further information will be given about the individual due to privacy laws.

Wayne County Health Department has received a total of 31 presumptive positive cases among Wayne County residents.

“We have expected to see the numbers of cases increase as time goes on and unfortunately the numbers of deaths will also increase,” said Dr. David Jetmore, who is the Wayne County health officer.

Christine Stinson, executive director of the health department, said officials have felt the public’s fatigue with the restrictions surrounding COVID-19 and understand, but believe precautions need to continue for public safety.

“If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, you must self-quarantine. Just because you feel okay, does not mean you should be out in the community,” Stinson said. “It is also important for the public to understand when they are out at a grocery store or other essential business, they should assume they will encounter someone who has COVID-19 and remember to wear a face covering, wash their hands often and avoid touching their eyes, mouth and nose with unwashed hands.”

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.

Frequently touched surfaces could include door handles, countertops, pump handles at gas stations, pay key pads at stores and money.

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