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The Benton County Department of Public Health today announced the first death associated with novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the county.

“We wish to extend our sympathy to this individual’s family,” said Benton County Public Health Director Katie Cox. “Benton County Public Health and all of our key partners throughout the county and state continue to work to limit the spread and impact of this virus in our communities.”

If you think you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should self-isolated for 14 days. If, during that time, you develop symptoms of COVID-19, you should call your healthcare provider before going to the office. Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath

All residents are encouraged to:

  • Stay home when ill.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow/upper arm.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Practice social distancing by staying away from groups of people and maintaining a 6-foot distance from other individuals.

It is believed coronaviruses are primarily spread through respiratory droplets, which means to become infected, people generally have to be within 6 feet of someone who is contagious and have the droplets land on them.

For up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit the IDPH webpage at https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus and follow the department on Facebook at @IowaDepartmentOfPublicHealth and on Twitter at @IAPublicHealth.

For more information on Virginia Gay Hospital’s response to COVID-19, please visit our COVID-19 Need to Know web page.