Special to Iredell Free News

The Iredell County Health Department is reporting the first COVID-19 associated death in Iredell County. The individual had underlying health conditions and died from complications associated with the novel strain of coronavirus, COVID-19.

In order to protect the families’ privacy, no further information about this individual will be released.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the family during this difficult time,” Health Director Jane Hinson said. “This first death of an Iredell County resident due to COVID-19 emphasizes the need to follow the ‘Stay at Home’ order and all other public health recommendations to slow the spread of the virus in our community. It is extremely important for each of us to do our part to protect ourselves and those around us, especially those who are at an increased risk for severe illness.”

On Wednesday afternoon, the Health Department reported a total of 60 laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iredell County. Health officials believe the virus is widely spread throughout the community.

Thirty-eight of the cases are in the southern end of the county, 11 in the central region and 11 in the northern region.

Across the state, there have been 3,426 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 53 deaths. Some 386 people are hospitalized across the state.

The Iredell County Health Department continues to work collaboratively with local and state agencies to protect the health of the community and continues to encourage people to protect themselves to help lessen the spread of COVID-19.

There are many ways we can all protect ourselves and our communities:

• Follow the Stay at Home Order
• Practice social distancing, which means avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people while keeping 6 feet or more between you
• Frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
• If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw it in the trash
• Stay home when you’re sick
• Keep distance from others who are sick
• Avoid touching your face
• Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces in common areas like doorknobs, remotes, light switches, tables and handles
• Wear cloth mask or face covering when out in public where you may be around people like grocery
stores or pharmacies and still try to practice social distancing, wash your hands and keep your hands
away from your mouth, nose and eyes.

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