Athens County Confirms First Death Related to COVID-19

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — The first death related to COVID-19 in Athens County has been confirmed.

The Athens City-County Health Department reported the death Monday, March 30.

“The health department extends sincere sympathy to the family during this difficult time,” the health department wrote in a release. “In respect for the family, the person’s identity will not be released to the public.”

According to Ohio Department of Health data, the person who died was a male between the ages of 60 and 60.

The health department said it completed contact investigations and will continue to monitor COVID-19 activity in the area.

Athens County has three confirmed cases of COVID-19. The most recent was reported Sunday, March 29.

“The enemy we face is insidious, highly contagious, unseen and very worrisome,” Health Commissioner Dr. James Gaskell said in video posted by the health department. “This virus requires humans to survive. If we don’t transmit it to each other, it will die.”

Anyone experiencing respiratory symptoms requiring them to see a doctor, call your physician’s office, urgent care, or emergency department before arriving for care. Let them know that you believe you are experiencing symptoms related to the COVID-19 virus.

Your doctor can determine if you need to be tested.

The DOH makes the following recommendations to protect yourself from illness:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; dry hands with a clean towel or air dry hands.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable.
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.

Ohio’s coronavirus call center is open to answer questions from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. The hotline number is 1-833-4-ASK-ODH or 1-833-427-5634. More information is available at

For Athens-specific questions regarding COVID-19, contact the Athens City-County Health Department at 740-592-4431. For the most recent information regarding COVID-19, visit the Athens City-County Health Department website