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First COVID-19 related death in Tyrrell County reported

Martin-Tyrrell-Washington District Health (MTW) announced late Monday afternoon that it has received notification from a hospital partner confirming Tyrrell County’s first death associated with COVID-19. “To protect the family’s privacy, no further information about this patient will be released,” noted the MTW District Health press release.

“We extend our sincere condolences to the individual’s family, friends, and caretakers” stated Wes Gray, health director. “This loss of one of our community members hits home. It is critical that our community continues to practice preventative measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

MTW District Health stated that COVID-19 diagnostic testing is available through health care providers or at the Tyrrell County Health Department. There will be a drive-through COVID-19 testing event behind the Tyrrell County Health Department on Martha Street on July 8, 2020 from 1-5 p.m. Residents of Tyrrell, Martin, Washington and Hyde county age 10 or older are eligible. All insurances cover the COVID-19 test, including Medicare and Medicaid. Patients without insurance will receive a test at no cost. To make an appointment for this event, call 252-793-1751.

Testing for COVID-19 is recommended by MTW District Health for those who meet the following criteria:

– Anyone with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.

– Close contacts of known positive cases, regardless of symptoms.

– MTW District Health notes the following groups are some of the populations with higher risk of exposure or a higher risk of severe disease if they become infected and they recommend testing if individuals believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19, whether or not they have symptoms:

  • People who live in or have regular contact with high-risk settings (e.g., long-term care facility, homeless shelter, correctional facility, migrant farmworker camp).
  • Historically marginalized populations who may be at higher risk for exposure.
  • Frontline and essential workers (grocery store clerks, gas station attendants, childcare workers, construction sites, processing plants, etc.) in settings where social distancing is difficult to maintain.
  • Healthcare workers or first responders (e.g. EMS, law enforcement, fire department, military).
  • People who are at high risk of severe illness (e.g., people over 65 years of age, people of any age with underlying health conditions).
  • People who have attended protests, rallies or other mass gatherings could have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or could have exposed others. Testing should be considered for people who attended such events, particularly if they were in crowds or other situations where they couldn’t practice effective social distancing, according to MTW District Health.

“MTW District Health Department is continuing to ask our community to be mindful in practicing preventive and safety measures that will help slow the spread of the virus,” continued the release. “These precautions include practicing the 3 W’s:

“Wear a cloth covering or a mask over your nose and mouth, especially when social distancing is not possible.

“ Wait 6 feet apart and avoid close contact.

“ Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.”

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