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First COVID-19 death reported in Green County
Virus is being spread locally by people 'who don't even know they have it,' public health director warns
covid-19 graphic coronavirus

MONROE — On Sunday morning, Green County Public Health confirmed the first death of a Green County resident due to COVID-19.

The woman was older than 65, had multiple "comorbidities" — coexisting chronic health conditions or infections — and had been hospitalized for several weeks, said Public Health Director RoAnn Warden. Common comorbidities in COVID-19 patients include high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes, according to a study published in JAMA.

"It is with profound sadness that we announce that one of Green County’s citizens has passed away from COVID-19. We extend our deepest sympathies to the family and loved ones," Warden said in a statement.

Warden continues to urge the community to follow guidelines to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are facing extraordinary circumstances... COVID-19 is in our communities and being spread by individuals who don’t even know they have it. This virus is real, it is deadly and we will need to continue physical distancing until there is a cure or vaccine," she said.

In addition to physical distancing, she recommends wearing a face covering when out in public, avoiding touching your face, eyes, mouth and nose, coughing and sneezing into your elbow; frequent handwashing with soap and water and staying home "often," especially when sick.

Cloth face coverings are recommended as a public health measure mainly to protect others, not yourself, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As scientists study the new coronavirus, recent evidence shows infected people who don't yet have symptoms or know they are sick can still transmit the virus.

As of June 15, 76 Green County residents have tested positive since the first reported case on March 20. Of these, 70 have recovered. None are hospitalized.

The percentage of positive tests has dropped as testing becomes more widely accessible. Overall, about 3.3% of Green County residents who've been tested for the viral respiratory infection have been positive, but in the past two weeks, the positive rate is down to less than 1%.

The Green County Coronavirus Case Dashboard, operated by the local public health department, is updated frequently with the latest data.

The number of Lafayette County residents with COVID-19 continues to rise, with new cases reported nearly every day for the past week. As of June 15, there were 15 active cases reported in Lafayette County. Overall, 43 residents have tested positive and 28 are recovered, according to the Lafayette County Health Department.

Free testing is available until June 24 at Alliant Energy Center in Madison, an effort coordinated by the Department of Health Services and Wisconsin National Guard. Testing is offered Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and until 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can walk, bike or drive up to get tested, and no ID or appointment is necessary.

The National Guard reports more than 16,400 test swabs have been collected at the site.