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Scott County Reports First COVID-19 Death

Scott County Health Department

The Scott County Health Department (Seth Tackett, WFIU/WTIU News)

Scott County Health Department officials say the county's first coronavirus victim was between 50 and 60 years old and had a pre-existing condition. They died on March 22.

Scott County Public Health Nurse Brittany Combs says the victim tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday. That’s when health officials last made contact with the patient.

“This person was doing fine at that time, and unfortunately took a turn for the worst, and passed away at their home, very early Sunday morning,” says Combs.

In 2015, Scott County was ground zero for an HIV outbreak, and there are concerns people living in this rural southern Indiana County may be especially vulnerable to the novel coronavirus.

“Social distancing is huge, it’s a major issue people aren’t listening to,” says Combs.

Comb says she’s concerned because there are only three intensive care beds available at Scott County Memorial Hospital, meaning the county could be quickly become overwhelmed by more cases of the virus.

“We do need to have more access to testing, because if we can get those test results back quickly, we can do contact tracing, and make sure those people are tested,” says Combs.

Though she could not specify how many days’ supply of personal protection equipment (PPE) is left, Combs says it is dangerously low.

“We’re low on all of it, the face masks, the gloves, the goggles, the gowns,” she says.

Combs says all medical professionals and first responders throughout the county are required to report their inventory of PPE to the state each morning.  That helps state and federal officials determine how to disperse a resupply of those materials.

For the latest news and resources about COVID-19, bookmark our Coronavirus In Indiana page here

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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