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Man who tests positive for COVID-19 dies in Olney

Presumed to be COVID-19 related, autopsy results pending

A man who traveled by vehicle from New York to Olney died Friday and was later confirmed to be positive for COVID-19. The man was presumed to have died from COVID-19 with autopsy results pending, according to Young County Local Health Authority Dr. Pat Martin.

Martin said he came from New York to be with his family in Olney and was sick and tested at one of the medical facilities because of his illness. Martin said the man’s body was taken to the medical examiners office who will determine the actual cause of death.

“His body was sent for an autopsy, so the cause of death will be determined by a coroner, but we believe it was from COVID,” Martin said. “That is the diagnosis we are going by.”

Martin said he believed the man did not contract COVID-19 in Olney, but brought it with him in his drive from New York to Olney. The local health authority also said the state is working to investigate his travel history.

“The state was on top of it immediately on him, and they are still on top of it,” Martin said. “It is a very difficult investigation because he had driven from New York, so they have go through the whole route that he took and every place that he stopped they are trying to track down. So it is a very difficult investigation, but as far as where he has been in Olney, yes, they are quarantining all contacts and quarantining the family that he was staying with. They are doing the best they can to track down anybody he might had contacted or even his immediate family might have contacted.”

At 4:36 p.m. Friday, April 10, Martin, posted on his Facebook page that a man had died at a home in Olney who was confirmed to be positive for COVID-19.

“A man in Young County died today and was confirmed to be positive for COVID-19,” the post reads. “The man had travelled recently from out of state. Further details are being investigated. His test was not resulted until after he had died. He died at a home in Olney.”

Martin said an hour after learning of the man’s death, he got a call from the state about his positive result. Graham Regional Medical Center, which has been posting the total numbers of cases throughout the county each day, shared the post from Martin’s Facebook page Friday and listed the man as a death on their updated numbers for that day.

As of Sunday, April 12, GRMC posted on Facebook that the county had performed 300 tests, with 283 negative, five positive and 12 pending. There is one death, one at home in isolation and three who have recovered from COVID-19 within the county.

The city of Olney updated the community Friday regarding the death on their Facebook page and encouraged the community to keep following the social distancing and cleaning guidelines suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The City of Olney has been made aware that an individual passed away this morning, April 10, with complications from Coronavirus COVID-19,” the post reads. “We encourage everyone to redouble their efforts to follow the guidelines as laid out by the CDC, DSHS, and our elected officials. Wash your hands often, disinfect surfaces, wear a cloth mask when out in stores or other public areas, refrain from touching your face, stay at home as much as possible, and use hand sanitizer with at least a 60% alcohol content. If you feel sick, self-isolate yourself and your family at home until you can contact your medical provider.”

Martin said the same guidelines which have applied from the beginning from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention, still apply now.

“Take the social distancing seriously, wash your hands, try to stay out of public places if at all possible and don’t mix families,” Martin said. “If you do feel sick, come get checked out and find out what you have.”

The Graham Leader

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