Door County Reports First COVID-19 Death

The Door County Public Health Department has reported the first death associated with COVID-19 in Door County. A male in his 70s with underlying medical conditions has died.

Due to privacy laws, no further information will be disclosed, the department wrote in a statement.

“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the individual who has passed,” the statement read. “This tragic loss is a reminder of how important the Safer at Home order is in the protection of our most vulnerable residents.”

Door County has reported 9 cases of COVID-19 to date. There have been 3,341 cases reported statewide, including at least 145 deaths.

There are just seven outstanding tests awaiting results from Door County, an indication the state labs are finally making it through the county’s backlog of tests.

Door County Public Health Manager Sue Powers said there remains no evidence of community spread of the virus within Doo rCounty.

“With every positive case, Door County Public Health does an investigation,” Powers said. The department then performs contact tracing of that person’s interactions in the community, including lengthy interviews with each of those contacts.

Powers said her department is getting additional help from within the county’s Department of Health and Human Services staff in performing contact tracing.

Sue Powers and Dr. Jim Heise discuss COVID-19 in a Facebook Live session Monday.

Powers said she understands the public’s desire for more information about confirmed cases, but that privacy concerns don’t allow the disclosure of that information.

“It would make the cases too identifiable,” Powers said. “We take HIPAA seriously.”

She said that knowing the zip code or neighborhood a patient lives in should not change any individual behaviors in following the state’s Safer at Home guidelines.

Dr. Jim Heise, Chief Medical Officer at Door County Medical Center, said he’s seeing progress on social distancing in the community and it’s making an impact. The hospital’s hotline call volume has slowed, and the hospital performed just three tests for the coronavirus Monday.

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