YPSILANTI, Mich., March 22, 2020 – Washtenaw County Health Department is reporting the first local death attributed to COVID-19. The individual was an elderly, adult male with underlying health conditions. He was hospitalized yesterday and passed away today at Michigan Medicine.
“Our condolences go out to the family who have lost their loved one,” said Jimena Loveluck, MSW, Washtenaw County Health Officer. “While we know there are no words that can lessen this family’s grief and our community’s loss and fears, his death is an urgent reminder to all of us. We must act now and act together to protect everyone’s health to the greatest degree possible.”
Strong community mitigation and prevention measures are already in place. Our Health Department recommends that everyone:
- Stay at home – Do not leave home except for essential tasks such as getting groceries or seeking medical care.
- If you are out, stay at least 6 feet away from others and avoid any gatherings.
- Wash your hands often and well, especially after being away from home
- Do not touch your face or mouth, especially when out
- Check on others – Call your loved ones and neighbors who are most at risk and see how they are doing. If they require an essential errand, see how you can help.
Everyone should be following the above guidance. There is evidence of community spread locally. Testing is ongoing. But, with so few tests completed and so many pending, everyone needs to take precautions, practice prevention, and assume potential exposure in public locations.
“We know this is a difficult time,” continued Loveluck. “It is also a critical time for us to work together and to protect each other and support our health care workers and other essential workers. Together we can do this. We can slow the spread of illness and maintain care and resources for everyone.”
Washtenaw County Health Department continues to provide the latest information at www.washtenaw.org/covid19. Michigan updates are available at www.michigan.gov/coronavirus, and national updates are at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus. Please rely on official sources for information.
Washtenaw County Health Department is now updating the number of cases, hospitalizations, and recovered persons on our website. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is providing statewide information at 2 p.m. each day.
REMEMBER: Discrimination harms public health. People of Asian descent, including Chinese Americans, are not more likely to get coronavirus than anyone else.
Washtenaw County Health Department
The Washtenaw County Health Department promotes health and works to prevent disease and injury in our community. Our mission is to assure, in partnership with the community, the conditions necessary for people to live healthy lives through prevention and protection programs.
The Washtenaw County Health Department has achieved national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board. Visit us at washtenaw.org/health or call 734-544-6700.