Elkhart County reports first coronavirus death

ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) Elkhart County is reporting its first coronavirus death.

The person who died was an 80-year-old man who had underlying medical issues.

He died at a hospital in Elkhart County.

Forty-nine Hoosiers have died from coronavirus as of Tuesday.

From the Elkhart County Health Department:

We are saddened to report that Elkhart County has had its first COVID-19 death. The 80-year-old male had multiple co-morbidities (additional medical conditions) and passed at a hospital in Elkhart County. Our condolences go to the family. We are expecting more official notifications of deaths in the coming days. Again, people must stay at home! This is the best way to ensure that you or your loved ones do not become infected.

COVID-19 is spread by person-to-person transmission through respiratory droplets. You send respiratory droplets into the environment via saliva and mucus through your breathing, talking, singing, sneezing, coughing, etc. That is why physical distancing is so vital. We all must stay six feet away from others. This is also why we have so much emphasis on hygiene—washing hands, covering coughs, staying home when ill, etc. It's all to prevent the spread of the virus.

We will continue to say, the best way to protect yourself from any respiratory illness, including COVID-19, is to:

· Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60% or higher alcohol.

· Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

· Practice social distancing of six feet or greater (no group functions such as book clubs, meetings, and or congregations of 10 or more)

· Stay home unless you need to go somewhere.

· Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and then wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.

· Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

We will continue to provide updates as changes occur. Please follow our Facebook page at Elkhart County Health Department Health Education Division www.facebook.com/healtheducation.echd, www.elkhartcountyhealth.org, or go to the Indiana State Department of Health’s website at www.isdh.in.gov/coronavirus for up-to-date information on COVID-19.