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LEDGER — Mitchell County Health Department, a part of Toe River Health District, was notified today of its first COVID-19 associated death in Mitchell County. The individual, in their 80s, was hospitalized and on a ventilator. According to the health department, no further information about the patient will be released in order to protect the family’s privacy.

“We want to extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of this individual,” Toe River Health District Health Director Diane Creek said. "This virus continues to spread within our communities and has the potential to cause fatal results to anyone infected. This is one reason why it is important for everyone to comply with the face covering requirement and reduce the spread of this virus.”

The cases of community spread continue to rise within Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties. TRHD reminds residents to practice the three W’s at all times: Wear a face covering when out in public when one cannot physically distance themselves from others, stay at least six feet away from others and remember to wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer if access to soap and water is unavailable. It is also imperative for those testing positive to stay at home.

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