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Ellis County reports first death related to COVID-19

The Hays Daily News
A COVID-19 particle is pictured in this image provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Ellis County Health Department has reported the first COVID-19 related death of an Ellis County resident.

In a news release Friday, Ellis County Health Services director Jason Kennedy said a male in his 90s has died after testing positive for COVID-19 on July 5.

The man “had significant pre-existing medical conditions leading to his passing,” Kennedy said. “COVID-19 is believed to be a contributing factor in his death.

“ECHD extends its deepest condolences to his family in this difficult time.”

On Friday, the health department reported 11 new COVID-19 cases since Wednesday.

The news release listed 36 active cases, 41 recovered cases and a total of 77 cases in the county.

Kennedy said Ellis County residents, “especially the most vulnerable — those over 55 years old with pre-existing medical concerns — need to be exceptionally vigilant at this time.”

Kennedy noted that 50% of Ellis County’s active cases are over 55 years old.

“This trend is alarming as this (age) population accounts for 92.6 percent of the 299 statewide deaths and 62 percent of the 1,300 hospitalizations,” he said. “If you are in this population, have a loved one or care for someone in this population, please take extra precautions to protect and educate yourselves and them.

“As we interact and care for those in the vulnerable population, attempt to limit close contact as much as possible and avoid indoor settings during contact. If you cannot appropriately social distance, both parties should wear a mask.”

ECHD will work to identify any close contacts of the new positive cases. The contacts will be directed to quarantine for 14 days. The positive cases are in isolation.

The health department reiterated that “residents and visitors of Ellis County need to remain diligent in social distancing, as well as basic precautions like washing your hands, covering your cough and staying home when you are ill.”

ECHD is directing residents who become symptomatic to contact their local physician.