TAWAS CITY – Iosco County has recorded its first death related to the COVID-19 virus, according to a press release issued Saturday by District Health Department No. 2 (DHD2).

The release stated that the individual, a male in Iosco County, was tested after passing away. The result of the test was that he was positive for COVID-19.

DHD2 Officials provided no other information on the individual in the release, including the age, residence or possible previous health issues with the individual, but an anonymous source with intimate knowledge on the incident provided a few details.

According to the source, the man was a Fenton resident and died in his AuSable Township condominium  more than a week ago. The Oscoda Township Police Department responded to the death at the location.

The anonymous source said the man’s symptoms the night before his death were consistent with Covid-19. A test by DHD2 confirmed the man had Covid-19, although the county medical examiner was going to rule his death from the disease without a test.

When asked about further details on the incident, which could benefit our readers, Tracey Wood, DHD2’s public information officer, would not provide any further details, even to the location or the time of the death.

“In an effort to protect this person’s privacy, we will not be providing any additional details,” she stated in an email, Monday. “Epidemiological tracing is conducted on presumptive positives, and identified contacts are notified, and isolated as appropriate.  HIPAA and privacy regulations will be upheld.”

The agency did provide condolences to the family, however, of the deceased Covid-19 victim.

“We wish to express our heartfelt sympathies to the family who has lost their loved one,” said Denise Bryan, health officer for DHD2. “This is a tragic reminder of how serious a threat COVID-19 is to our community.” 

Although the death marks the first for Iosco County related to Covid-19, it is certainly not the first in the state, which recorded more than 600 deaths from the virus on Monday, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human services.

According to that agency, there were nearly 16,000 infections recorded in the state on Sunday.

Iosco County, according to the agency, has three confirmed cases of Covid-19, and one death.

To the north Alcona County has recorded no cases of Covid-19. Ogemaw and Arenac counties have each recorded three confirmed cases of Covid-19. Oscoda County has two confirmed cases, according to the agency.

In the release, Bryan said DHD2 would like to remind everyone that in this difficult time it is critical that we protect each other, support each other, and work together to slow the spread of this virus. It’s important for residents to be aware of the virus and the efforts necessary to prevent its spread.

“As this situation continues to evolve, we ask all of our residents to take the appropriate precautions. Strong community mitigation and prevention measures are already in place,” stated the release.

DHD2 also urged residents to continue to follow recommendations:

• Stay at home. Do not leave home except for essential tasks such as getting groceries or seeking medical care.

• If you must go out, stay at least six feet away from others and avoid any gatherings.

• Wash your hands frequently for at least twenty seconds.

• Avoid touching your face.

• Disinfect commonly touched surfaces.

• Check on others. Call your loved ones and neighbors who are most at risk and see how they are doing. If they require something essential, see how you can help.

• Get your information from reliable sources such as the www.cdc.gov/coronavirus, www.mdhhs/coronavirus, www.dhd2.org/COVID-19.

In addition, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has a hotline number that Michigan residents can call to ask questions about COVID-19. The number is 1-888-535-6136 and is available seven days a week from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

Residents can also send an email to: COVID19@michigan.gov. Emails will be answered seven days a week between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.