First COVID-19 related death confirmed

Lewis County Health Director Anita Bertram has confirmed the county’s first death related to COVID-19.

The patient was a resident at Vanceburg Rehabilitation and Care, Bertram said. The death occurred overnight at an area medical facility.

“I extend my deepest sympathies to family and friends for their loss,” Bertram said. “It is now more important than ever that we each do our part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

“We must work together to limit the spread and impact of COVID-19 in our community,” she said.

Bertram adds the administrators with Vanceburg Rehabilitation and Care have been working closely with her and others to contain the spread of the virus at the facility.

Joe Donchatz, Executive Director of Vanceburg Rehabilitation and Care, said when an outbreak was announced at the facility on August 1 that he had learned a resident of the facility had visited an area hospital and was in contact with a hospital employee that later tested positive.

Donchatz said several residents began exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 resulting in COVID testing for all suspected residents and staff.

Bertram said 27 in-house residents and 17 staff members at the facility have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Wednesday afternoon.

Lewis County is now at 86 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 50 of those currently active. Bertram said six of the current cases required hospitalization.

Steps to help slow the spread of the virus include:

• Wearing a mask or face covering, especially when you are unable to practice social distancing.

• Practicing physical distancing by staying six feet away from people who are not a member of your household.

• Covering your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or sleeve, or a tissue and then throw the tissue away and wash your hands afterward.

• Thoroughly washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after going to the bathroom and before eating. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

• Avoiding groups of people, when possible.

Local coronavirus testing is for anyone age 18 and older and is available by appointment at the Lewis County Health Department three days a week. There is no charge for the test.

Those younger than 18 should consult a physician or call the health department for information about being tested.

COVID-19 testing by appointment is available Monday, Tuesday, and Friday afternoons from 2:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m.

To make an appointment to be tested, or for more information, call the Lewis County Health Department at 606-796-2632.

Lewis County residents may dial 606-202-8600 for more information on COVID-19. The state hotline is 800-722-5725.


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