Pottawatomie County health officials have confirmed the first COVID-19 related death in the county.
According to Health Officer Liz Parthemer, the patient was a 79-year-old woman. No other details were released about her. A second patient, an 87-year-old man also died from COVID complications. Health officials are awaiting confirmation from the state health department on whether each was a resident of the county.
Parthemer says contact investigations are ongoing. Any close contacts are advised to quarantine at home and monitor for symptoms. She adds that this is not a time to “let our guard down” as hospitals are seeing an increase in numbers of positive COVID patients across the county.
During Monday’s Pottawatomie County Commission meeting, health department officials pleaded with the board to consider implementing a countywide mask mandate. The commission has long been against any sort of mandate, opting rather to encourage residents to use masks instead whenever they are in public places.
Statewide, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment noted over 4,400 COVID-19 hospitalizations as of Monday.