The Bloomingtonian

MCHD issues press release on first Monroe County COVID-19/Coronavirus death

The Monroe County Health Department confirmed the first COVID-19/Coronavirus death in the county was a patient at IU Health Bloomington Hospital who was over 70-year-old, and died Saturday, according to a press release.

The identity of the deceased is not being released to the public due to HIPAA rules, which helps keep identities of medical patients secret.

Here is the text of the MCHD press release:

MONROE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT AND IU HEALTH BLOOMINGTON

CONFIRMS 1st COVID-19 DEATH

BLOOMINGTON— The first COVID-19 related death has been confirmed in Monroe County,

The Monroe County Health Department (MCHD) announced Sunday morning that a Monroe County resident died at Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital on 4/11/20.  The patient was over the age of 70.

“It is with a heavy heart that we report the death of a resident due to COVID-19,” said MCHD administrator Penny Caudill. “It is a solemn reminder of how serious this virus is and why we must remain diligent in our efforts to slow the spread.”

No further information about the patient will be released due to privacy laws.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with this family and all families in our communities, state and nation who are facing difficulties during these unprecedented times,” said Brian Shockney, president of IU Health South Central Region. “As healthcare providers, this is not the outcome we had hoped for, but we are grateful for the compassionate care our team members displayed in regard to this case. Dan Handel, MD (IU Health South Central Region chief medical officer) and I have great pride in the work of all care teams involved. They provided a safe environment for this patient and their family and continue to do so for all of our patients, day in and day out. As we move forward together as a community during these uncertain times, we advise that, now more than ever, it is important to continue to commit to each other and all those we serve. We acknowledge the concern that exists in our community. Know that we are committed and prepared to respond to the challenges we face until we get to the other side of this pandemic.”

COVID-19 is most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:

  • Respiratory droplets released into the air by coughing and sneezing;
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands;
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands; and
  • Rarely, fecal contamination.
  • Many people who acquire COVID-19 will have mild symptoms, can self-isolate and do not need to be tested. Older individuals and those with underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness.
  • The best ways to protect yourself are to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, avoid close contact with people who are sick, stay home when you’re sick, cover your cough or sneeze and clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends practicing social distancing and keep 6 foot between themselves and others and wear a face covering when they in places where that is difficult, such as a grocery or pharmacy.
  • For more information, visit the Monroe County Health Department at  www.co.monroe.in.us/HealthDepartment and its Facebook page.  Up to date information on Indiana cornonavirus cases can also be found at ISDH at https://www.in.gov/coronavirus/.
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