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Harrison County announces first COVID-19 death

CADIZ — Harrison County announced the county’s first coronavirus-related death over the weekend.

Garen Rhome, administrator of the Harrison County Health Department, met with Harrison County Commissioners Paul Coffland, Don Bethel and Dale Norris to provide an update of the virus within the county Wednesday morning.

“The sad news, late on Friday, we announced it on Saturday, that we had our first fatality due to conditions related to COVID-19,” Rhome said.

“It’s a Harrison County resident, it’s a friend, it’s a neighbor, it’s a loved one and they’re no longer with us.”

The health department first announced the death via social media Saturday afternoon.

“It is with great sadness that today we must announce the first death of a Harrison County resident due to complications related to COVID-19. On behalf of the department’s staff and the Board of Health members, we express our deepest sympathies to the family and loved ones, as well as the healthcare workers who cared for this individual,” the department stated on social media.

The individual was hospitalized due to the virus. There have been three individuals hospitalized due to complications associated with the coronavirus in Harrison County. All three individuals were above the age of 65, Rhome said.

Rhome said there is some good news, out of the county’s 11 confirmed cases, ten are now considered recovered. An individual that has remained in the hospital for the past two months has now been released and is considered recovered, he said.

“Yesterday we reported that one of the hospitalizations that has been reported since April has recovered. … The individual is going home to continue their recovery, but for us we consider them recovered. They have made it through protocol and are no longer isolated. So that keeps our total at 11 cases – ten recovered and unfortunately, one of our residents has passed away,” he said.

Rhome said people over the age of 65 years old remain the most vulnerable to the virus.

“Tying this back to our older population because like we’ve said, three people over the age of 65, all three of them hospitalized and one has died. I want people to be very cautious and tell your family, tell your friends, tell the people you know who are travelling somewhere to please be smart, please be safe, particularly when you return,” he said.

Rhome said he wants residents to remain safe and continue to take precautions especially with people traveling for the summer.

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