The Imperial County Public Health Department announced today that an Imperial County resident has died due to complications of COVID-19. This represents the first COVID-19 related death for Imperial County.
The individual, an elderly adult with underlying health conditions, was recently diagnosed and was being treated in a San Diego hospital. Preliminary understanding from the contact investigation is that this patient had minimal local community exposure and spent time in residences in both Imperial County and near Mexicali, Baja California.
To date, there have been 43 positive COVID-19 cases in Imperial County, six of whom have recovered and are no longer in isolation.
The Imperial County Health Department held a telephone press conference with the media on to announce the first fatality related to COVID-19.
Imperial County Health Officer, Dr. Stephen Munday, said he couldn’t give more details regarding the person due to privacy and respect for the family during this difficult time.
Beyond Borders Gazette asked Munday about the comments made by some members of the community suggesting that the Imperial County Health Department should give more detailed information about the people that have COVID-19 as they do in other counties by giving their age group and city of residence.
Munday said there are no plans to make it happen
“We live in a small community and we need to respect the privacy of our local patients,” Munday said. “They do that in larger cities because of their large population but we don’t have plans to do it here,”
Joining the press conference was County CEO Tony Rohoutas who asked the people to follow the safety guidelines of social distancing and stay at home. He said that while things are difficult at this moment they are going to overcome this.
“I see our county employees helping each other whether or not they belong to the same department,” Rohoutas said. “This shows what the Imperial County is all about and we need to work as a team and help each other so we can advance on this.”