A Skagit County resident who tested positive for COVID-19 died Saturday, marking the first fatality of a county resident.
The patient was a woman in her 80s, according to a news release from Skagit County. She was a patient at Skagit Valley Hospital.
“We are very sad to have to report this first death,” county Health Officer Howard Leibrand said in the release. “My thoughts are with her family and friends as they grieve this loss.”
The woman’s illness was connected to a number of cases reported to have spread from a group gathering of about 60 people in early March, the release states.
Overall, 45 county residents have tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, Leibrand said in an interview.
Five of the patients are either hospitalized or have been hospitalized and released.
Statewide, there have been 2,221 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 110 deaths.
Deputy County Administrator Kayla Schott-Bresler said in an email that no further information about the Skagit County death will be released.
Skagit County Public Health staff are working to reach people who had been in close contact with the patient, and are instructing them to quarantine themselves. They will be monitored for symptoms, according to the release.
Leibrand said the death serves as reminder that isolation, social distancing and proper hygiene practices are essential in fighting the virus.