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Eau Claire County Reports First COVID-19 Related Death

V1 Staff

After weathering several months of a global pandemic without a coronavirus fatality, Eau Claire County has experienced its first COVID-19 related death, the Eau Claire City-County Health Department announced Monday morning, June 22.

While confirming that someone in the county had died of complications related to the disease, the health department said it would not release further information – such as the age or gender of the patient – “out of respect for the privacy of the individual and their family.”

As of Monday morning, 161 Eau Claire County residents had tested positive for COVID-19, and an estimated 128 of those had recovered. Statewide, there have been nearly 25,000 positive cases of the disease and 744 fatalities.

Here’s the full media release from the Eau Claire City-County Health Department:

Eau Claire County Reports First COVID-19 Related Death

Eau Claire WI, June 22, 2020, 10:30 AM – The Eau Claire City-County Health Department is confirming the first death of an Eau Claire County resident related to complications of COVID-19. Out of respect for the privacy of the individual and their family, we will not be disclosing any additional information about this case.

“The Eau Claire City-County Health Department sends our deepest condolences to the family and friends of this individual,” said Lieske Giese, Health Officer-Director. “We are extremely saddened by the loss of one of our community members to this virus.”

The occurrence of the first death in our community is a sober and difficult reminder of the seriousness of this illness. We continue to have a growing number of positive cases in the community and community spread of this disease.

Everyone can help prevent the spread of illness in our community with a few simple, but effective actions:

  • Stay home if you have a cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat, or other symptoms of illness
  • Practice good personal hygiene:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, eating, or drinking.
    • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow, then wash your hands.
    • Use hand sanitizer if you do not have soap and water readily available.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • While in public, keep six feet between you and people who don’t live in your home. Avoid gathering with people not in your household. Wear a cloth face covering when physical distance is hard to maintain.
  • Call your heath care provider if you have any questions about your health.

By staying home, practicing physical distancing, washing hands, and covering coughs and sneezes, Wisconsinites have made a difference in slowing the spread of the disease and saving lives. The Eau Claire City-County Health Department continues to follow-up on all positive cases of COVID-19. Investigations of each confirmed case are conducted to ensure that any close contact is self-quarantining per the current state’s guidance. Testing for COVID-19 in Eau Claire County and around the state continues.

A media briefing will be held at 3:30 today and available to view live on the Health Department Facebook page. Please know that the health and safety of all community members remains our highest priority. You can stay up to date with the latest information on the Health Department website covid19eauclaire.org, Facebook (@eauclairehealthdept), or Twitter @echealthdept. If you have questions, email us at echealth@co.eau-claire.wi.us, or call the COVID-19 phone line at 715-831-7425.