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Delaware reports first coronavirus-related death

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An illustration of the coronavirus.

A man from Sussex County has died from COVID-19, marking the state’s first coronavirus-related death.

The 66-year-old man had underlying health conditions and had been hospitalized out of state, according to Jennifer Brestel, a spokeswoman for the Delaware Division of Public Health.

Officials do not know how the man was exposed to the virus.

“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the gentleman who died, as well as to all who have been diagnosed with coronavirus disease,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “This is a tragic reminder that that this disease can be fatal. We need to make sure that we are protecting vulnerable persons from this disease, particularly older individuals and those with chronic health conditions. This reinforces why it’s so important for everyone to stay home - especially those who are ill with any symptoms including fever, cough, body aches, sore throat, shortness of breath and even stomach aches, nausea and diarrhea.”

As of Thursday evening, Delaware has 143 confirmed coronavirus cases, an increase of 24 from Wednesday.

Of the patients, 91 are from New Castle County, 19 are from Kent County, and 33 are from Sussex County. The patients range in age from 1 to 90 and include 71 men and 72 women.

Fifteen are hospitalized, and nine are critically ill. An additional two Delawareans are hospitalized out of state.

Four patients have fully recovered.

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