Johnston County Reports First Death Related To COVID-19

The Johnston County Public Health Department is reporting the first COVID-19 associated death in a Johnston County resident.

According to a news release Friday morning, the individual died on Thursday, March 26th from complications associated with the virus. The patient was in their mid-sixties and had underlying medical conditions. To protect the family’s privacy, no further information about this patient will be released.

Johnston County Health Director Dr. Marilyn Pearson stated, “We are saddened to hear of this loss to our Johnston County community and extend our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones.  Although most people will have mild to moderate symptoms with this virus, some will have a more severe illness. This reminds us all to do our part to decrease the chance of infection and stop the spread of the virus by following social distancing recommendations and staying home to the extent possible.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated who is at high risk for severe illness on March 22, 2020. 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.

To stay up to date on COVID-19 in North Carolina, visit or text COVIDNC to 898211. Call 2-1-1 (or 888-892-1162) for general questions or for help finding human services resources in your community.