01STOCK_CORONAVIRUS01

ELKHORN

A day after reporting its first death from COVID-19, Walworth County on Monday reported two more deaths from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

All three deaths have been “older adults,” according to a news release from the county.

“This virus is particularly hard on those 65 and older,” said Erica Bergstrom, public health officer. “These people also had multiple underlying conditions that complicated their medical care.”

The county’s Division of Public Health will not publicly release the municipalities where those who died had lived, according to the release. That information is still being given to dispatch centers, however.

The patient whose death was reported Sunday was in his or her 80s. Age ranges were not immediately shared for the two deaths included in Monday’s release.

Walworth County also reported a spike in laboratory confirmed cases—from 26 reported Thursday to 45 on Monday, the release states. That is “partially attributable” to private labs being authorized to test for COVID-19.

This allowed physicians to test patients who were not severely ill, according to the release. The county has said limits on testing meant the raw count of positive cases was not accurate in assessing the disease’s spread.

Additionally, testing results are delayed and have “skewed” Walworth County’s numbers, the release states. The county late last week received results from tests that happened in late March.

Some suspected cases were being monitored and recovered fully before testing data came back, according to the release.

In total, 16 patients who tested positive have recovered, said Carlo Nevicosi, deputy director of the county’s Department of Health & Human Services. Six patients are currently hospitalized with the disease, he added.

Bergstrom said the increase in cases, however, has not overwhelmed the local health care system. She said the workers there are “doing phenomenal work.”

“We are hopeful because we are seeing people recover, including some who have been hospitalized,” she said in the release.

Bergstrom said the virus is “widespread” throughout Walworth County. Those who have been in close contact with confirmed cases will be notified, she added.

“Please continue to adhere to physical-distancing practices to control the spread of the infection” she said.

Other guidelines listed in the release include:

  • Staying at home if you feel sick.
  • Remaining at home until you don’t have a fever for three days (without the help of medication).
  • Having “significant improvement in symptoms.”
  • Seven days passing since symptoms first showed up.

Bergstrom shared condolences for the loved ones who had lost someone.

“We extend our sympathies to the families and friends of those we recently lost,” she said. “We must continue to work together to protect our most vulnerable neighbors.”

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