EL CENTRO – Imperial County Public Health Department has confirmed its first death from complications of the novel coronavirus.
The news was announced Thursday afternoon in a joint press teleconference with Imperial County Public Health Officer Dr. Stephen Munday and County Chief Executive Office Tony Rouhotas Jr.
The individual was described as an elderly adult with underlying health conditions who was recently diagnosed and was being treated in a San Diego hospital.
Preliminary understanding from the contact investigation is that this patient had minimal local community exposure and spent time in residences in both Imperial County and near Mexicali, Baja California, the health department said.
To date, there have been 43 positive COVID-19 cases in Imperial County, six of whom have recovered and are no longer in isolation.
“ My heartfelt condolences go out to the individual’s family and friends during this difficult time,” said Imperial County Health Officer, Stephen Munday, in a written statement. “Any loss of life is tragic, but this is particularly sobering. While most cases of COVID-19 exhibit mild or moderate symptoms, this tragic death underscores the urgent need for everyone to practice, without fail, the orders that have been outlined in the local and State Health Officer orders. These orders are not only intended to slow the spread of illness for everyone in our community but are designed to protect residents who are particularly vulnerable to developing more serious illness, including elderly persons and those with underlying health conditions.”
This story will be updated with more information.