COVID-19 claims first life in Athens County


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Call 1-833-4-ODH to get answers to your coronavirus questions

ATHENS, Ohio (WCMH) — News of the first death from complications of COVID-19 came Monday morning from the Athens City-County Health Department.

In a video release from Health Commissioner Dr. James Gaskell said, “I’m very sorry today to report the first death of Athens County of coronavirus disease.”

Gaskell extended his condolences to the victim’s family and reiterated the importance of social distancing.

“The enemy we face is insidious, highly contagious, unseen, and very worrisome,” he read into the camera. “This virus requires humans for survival. If we don’t transmit it to each other it will die.”

In a news release accompanying the video, the health department reiterates using trusted sources for information and dispelling rumors about the pandemic. Also, should you experience respiratory symptoms, call the emergency room, doctor’s office, or urgent care center and do NOT to show up unannounced. The medical staff will help you determine where to go to seek help.

Here are the resources the health department published at the bottom of the letter:

The Ohio Department of Health call center is open for specific questions about COVID-19, 1-833-4 ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634). The Ohio Department of Health updates the state’s numbers every day at 2 PM. For Athens specific questions regarding COVID-19, contact the Athens City-County Health Department at 740-592-4431.

For the most recent information regarding COVID-19, visit the Athens City-County Health Department website and Facebook page, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,, and the Ohio Department of Health Coronavirus page,

Coronavirus in Ohio resources:

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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