Harnett County Confirms First COVID-19 Death

Harnett County officials announced their first COVID-19 related death on Thursday. The resident’s death occurred at a hospital located outside of Harnett County. The patient was in their late thirties with underlying medical conditions.  To protect the family’s privacy, no further information about this patient is being released.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the family and loved ones,” stated Harnett County Health Director John Rouse.  “For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness,” Rouse added.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Harnett County Health Department recommends that people at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 stay at home to the extent possible to decrease the chance of infection.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated who is at high risk for severe illness.  People at high risk include anyone who:

  • Is 65 years of age or older
  • Lives in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • Has a high-risk condition that includes:
    • chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
    • heart disease with complications
    • compromised immune system
    • severe obesity – body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher
    • other underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as diabetes, renal failure or liver disease

In addition, pregnant women should be monitored closely since they are known to be at risk for severe viral illness. However, data so far on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness in pregnant women. While children are generally at lower risk for severe infection, some studies indicate a higher risk among infants.

As of March 26, 2020 Harnett County has 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

For more information visit the Harnett County Health Department’s website located at  http://www.harnett.org/health or  http://www.harnett.org/publicinfo/coronavirus-covid19-updates.asp.