Health officials today confirmed the first death of a Martin County resident related to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The individual was a male in his 80’s with underlying health conditions who was receiving treatment at a local hospital.

“We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the patient’s family and friends,” said Chera Sevcik, Executive Director of Community Health and Human Services of Faribault & Martin Counties. “This serves as a very unfortunate reminder to the community about the importance of staying at home and social distancing when leaving the household for essential activities, or to work at an essential business, in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help protect our most vulnerable neighbors. I can assure you, our agency is working very diligently to support our community partners – our local health care providers, senior living facilities, law enforcement, emergency management and first responders in a collaborative local effort to respond to this pandemic.”

Additional details about the individual’s death, the name of the hospital, and his city of residence will not be disclosed.

Residents are reminded of the role they can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which includes washing your hands and using hand sanitizers frequently, practicing social distancing by staying 6 feet away from people you do not live with and staying home unless you need essential supplies or are deemed an essential employee. If you do become ill, please call your health care provider before you go in to be seen. If you do become ill and are able to manage your illness at home, please stay home at least 7 days and 3 days with no fever and improvement of respiratory symptoms, whichever is longer.