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Man at Sovah Health in Martinsville dies after contracting COVID-19

MARTINSVILLE, VA – A man at Sovah Health in Martinsville died after contracting COVID-19, Kelly Fitzgerald, the hospital's marketing director, confirmed.

The man in his 70s had exposure to the coronavirus and developed symptoms on April 4.

His hospitalization was announced on Friday.

On Thursday morning, the Virginia Department of Health announced the first virus-related death in the West Piedmont Health District.

“We regret to announce that we have experienced our first local COVID-19-related fatality,” said Kerry Gateley, M.D., director of the West Piedmont Health District. “On behalf of all of us at VDH, I extend sincere condolences to this person’s family.”

The district’s death is not yet reflected in the department of health’s daily numbers, which are updated every morning.

“Unfortunately, we’ve learned that those over 65 and those with underlying health conditions are at greater risk of serious complications from COVID-19,” said Dr. Gateley. “Everyone, especially at-risk individuals, are strongly advised to take steps to minimize contact with others who are ill, practice social distancing and stay at home as much as possible.”

To protect privacy, officials said no further information about the patient will be disclosed.

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