Wayne County has confirmed its ninth death related to COVID-19 on Thursday (July 30).

Wayne County Health Department was notified Thursday morning of another COVID-19 related death of a Wayne County resident.

A man in his 80s died Wednesday, July 29, at Reid Health after an extended hospitalization.
Before being transported to the hospital, the gentleman was a resident of a Wayne County long-term care facility, according to Christine Stinson, the health department’s executive director.

Stinson announced the county’s eighth death related to COVID-19 on July 29.
She said a gentleman in his 60s tested positive for COVID-19 on July 6 and died July 19 at Reid Health.

As of Thursday, Wayne County has 292 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19. That number increased from 281 lab-confirmed cases on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Union County has 28 cases (an increase of four compared to the day before), Randolph County has 100 (up from 98 on July 29), Fayette County has 143 (was 138 cases), Franklin County has 187 (was 181) and Henry County has 354 cases (up from 348).

On July 20, the health department confirmed the county’s seventh COVID-related death. The patient was an adult male in his 80s who was hospitalized at Reid Health.

“We are saddened by the news,” said Wayne County Health Officer Dr. David Jetmore when the seventh death was announced. “In Wayne County we had not experienced a death since early May. But as our daily case counts bloomed in the past two weeks, we knew additional deaths would soon follow.”

Stinson said she was alarmed by increases in the county’s daily case counts and positivity rate.

“Now is the time we can make a difference before we are too far down this road we are traveling,” Stinson said. “… If we could gain better compliance with the public properly wearing mask or cloth facial coverings, we could impact both those numbers.”

Dr. Paul Rider, president of Wayne County Board of Health, stated there are very few medical reasons for someone not to follow the mandate to wear a mask.

In fact, the health department says people who have co-morbidity factors such as respiratory system disease, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease should be more diligent in wearing facial coverings when in public because they actually have a higher risk of more severe symptoms should they become infected with the virus, so masks are even more important.

Jetmore said U.S. medical professionals know from watching other areas in our nation and from other countries around the world that wearing facial covers will reduce transmission.

“There are very few tools in the public health toolbox right now to combat the transmission of COVID-19,” Jetmore said. “The only tools we have are the physical social distancing of 6 feet, good hand hygiene and wearing a mask in public spaces. Of those three, wearing a mask is the most effective policy that can be put into place and the easiest thing any one person could do to help our community.”

On Thursday, the health department asks residents to help the community by helping the department’s public health contact tracers by participating when called on. You may provide vital information to slow the spread of COVID-19. If you have COVID-19, a public health worker may call you to check on your health, discuss who you’ve been in contact with, and ask you to stay home to self-isolate, if you aren’t doing so already.

Answer the call to slow the spread: https://www.cdc.gov/…/daily-life-coping/contact-tracing.html.

Read more about COVID and find charts with the numbers of those affected in several local communities as well as data from long-term care facilities in the July 29 edition of Western Wayne News.

-By Millicent Martin Emery

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