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Marshall County announces its first COVID-19 death

MOUNDSVILLE — After months of daily increases in positive coronavirus cases, Marshall County experienced its first COVID-19 related death after a 73-year-old resident died Sunday night.

The man, who was not identified during a small press conference Monday, was described as being in good health prior to his diagnosis and hospitalization, according to county Threat Preparedness Director Mark Ackermann.

Ackermann did not say what local hospital the man was a patient of at the time of his death.

“There were very minimal pre-existing conditions before he was diagnosed with COVID,” Ackermann said.

His voice trembling, Ackermann expressed his sadness for the man’s family and for the county.

“This is the one press briefing you never want to do,” Ackermann said. “Our hearts are heavy with the loss of this first Marshall County resident. Our thoughts and prayers of the Health Department, and all county offices, are with the family and friends of the gentleman during this difficult time.

“We continue to urge all Marshall County residents, and elsewhere, to protect their health and the health of others, especially older individuals or those with chronic health issues.

“We all have a role to play in stopping the spread of the virus.

“We continue to urge all individuals to wear masks when in public and unable to practice social distancing.”

Marshall County has experienced 124 positive cases of COVID-19, five of which are in isolation at home, and four hospitalized, plus an additional two probable, but unconfirmed, cases.

Of the total case number, 116 people have recovered. Ackermann said there is no update available on the condition of the four others who are hospitalized.

Ackermann also announced Monday that a 1-year-old boy had also tested positive for COVID-19. He showed mild symptoms and is being isolated at home.

As with all others in isolation, the child and his family are being checked on daily by the health department.

In July, COVID-19 cases in Marshall County had nearly tripled from 48 cases on July 1, to the 124th case reported Monday.

Ackermann said that contract tracing efforts indicated that early in the month, many cases had come from individuals traveling, but more recent cases have been spread among members of the local community.

He confirmed that the deceased man contracted his case of COVID-19 locally.

“A lot of it right now is community spread throughout the valley area.

“We’re not seeing as much travel. A lot … appears to be family members who are positive, and then their children becoming positive. We’ve had several kids recently test positive,” Ackermann said.

“It can strike everybody. The effects of the virus may or may not be as severe on you, or somebody else. There’s no 100% guarantee how this is going to hit,” he said.

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