DUBUQUE COUNTY, Iowa (KWWL) -- The Iowa Department of Public Health has confirmed the first death associated with novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The individual is an older adult, 61-80 years of age, and a resident of Dubuque County.
"Our hearts are heavy with the first loss of an Iowan to COVID-19. The thoughts and prayers of our state are with the family during this difficult time," Gov. Kim Reynolds said. "I continue to urge all Iowans to protect their health and the health of others, especially older individuals and those with chronic health conditions who are most at risk. We all have a role to play in limiting the spread of this virus."
“First and foremost, we express our sincere sympathy to this individual’s family,” Patrice Lambert, executive director of the Dubuque County Public Health Department, said. “This death is a tragedy and a reminder for all of the seriousness of this virus. However, it is also important that everyone understands that this does not mean Dubuque County is more at risk for COVID-19 spread or deaths than other areas.”
Lambert says Dubuque County public health officials continue to work with the IDPH, local healthcare providers and other key partners to limit the spread and impact of the virus locally and across the state.
The public is urged to follow the critical advice of the IDPH and local public health officials and healthcare providers:
- Practice social distancing by avoiding groups of people and staying at least 6 feet away from other individuals.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or elbow/upper arm.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If you are ill, stay home and call your healthcare provider before visiting a healthcare facility.
A status report of monitoring and testing of COVID19 in Iowa is provided by IDPH, updated each morning, and can be found here. In addition, a public hotline has been established for Iowans with questions about COVID-19. The line is available 24/7 by calling 2-1-1 or 1-800-244-7431.