Stark County Health Department says 58-year-old man died of COVID-19

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STARK COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) — The Stark County Health Department said a man who was hospitalized and tested positive for COVID-19 has died.

The health department said the 58-year-old man had underlying health conditions and acquired COVID-19 through an unknown source.

“On behalf of the entire county, we express our deepest sympathies for the family and friends of the patient who died,” County Health Commissioner Kirk Norris said in a news release. “Our thoughts go out to the Stark County community, as well as all Ohioans, and those across the world battling this illness and the families of everyone affected by this pandemic.”

The case was originally reported by the Ohio Department of Health and the local health department when it was first identified.

Any additional information about the patient will not be released to respect his family’s privacy, the news release stated.

“For each case, the health department immediately starts a process to identify close contacts to the case. This process looks at the chance of exposure and other factors to the case. This is hundreds of contacts that nursing staff from each Department is following,” said Sherry Smith, Director of Nursing Services for the county department. Based on risk determined by public health, close contacts of the case are placed under public health supervision, referred to as quarantine, for a period of time. This is to limit movement. “The close contact will be told to stay at home until released by public health,” stated Smith.

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