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Monroe COVID-19 deaths climb to 12

WOODSFIELD — The death rate among Monroe County residents who tested positive for COVID-19 increased rapidly over the past week.

As of Wednesday, the county has 74 positive coronavirus cases, one probable case, 24 patients who have recovered and 12 deaths. The county reported its first virus-related death May 15. The number of deaths has steadily increased since then.

On Sunday the Monroe County Health Department announced the loss of two more residents, which brought the total deaths to 12.

“With heartfelt sympathy, we are sad to report the loss of two more county residents. MCHD wishes peace to the families at this time of sorrow,” the MCHD states on social media.

Administrator Linda Masters said no additional information is being released at this time regarding those who have died due to the virus. She said an age range for those who have passed is not being released, only an age range for those who have tested positive. The age range for the county’s positive cases is between the ages of 10 and 99.

Masters cited exposure as being the possible reason for the sudden increase in the county’s deaths.

“You have a peak when there’s been a lot of activity around and then it all kind of hits at the same time,” she said.

She said officials are hopeful that the numbers of cases and deaths are beginning to slow.

“We’re kind of crossing our fingers that things are slowing down for us. We hope. We hope our numbers are going to hold and quit going up,” she said.

Masters said the numbers have remained “steady” for the past couple of days. The county has only reported two additional positive cases since Friday.

“We’ve been kind of steady for the last two or three days, we haven’t seen any big increases. So that’s good,” she said.

The health department is urging residents to continue social distancing practices.

“With things opening up we’re seeing a lot more activity and people out, which we want to encourage people to get out just not to gather in large groups and to social distance. Make that a priority,” Masters said.

Masters said it is also important to wear cloth facial coverings properly. The MCHD recently shared the Ohio Department of Health’s guidance on the “Dos and Don’ts” of facial coverings on its Facebook page to help inform residents.

“We’re seeing a lot of people not wearing them (face masks) properly or handling them properly,” she said.

Some of the ODH “Dos” include wearing the face covering so it fits snugly but comfortably and ensures that it covers an individual’s nose, mouth and chin. The ODH also recommends practicing social distancing even when wearing a face covering.

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