The Hamilton County Health Department is saddened to report two deaths of residents due to COVID-19, bringing the total deaths to 17. The deaths were unrelated to each other. The Health Department extends their condolences to the families.
It is important to note that one of the deaths was an individual in the 40-45 year range and had no underlying medical conditions.
“This case illustrates that anyone is susceptible and could die from the disease,” said Health Department Administrator Becky Barnes, “Both of these deaths were also among our vulnerable populations of African-American and Hispanic communities. The Health Department continues to make efforts to reach these populations with free testing nearby,thorough contact tracing, and educational information they need to protect themselves and their families.”
According to the CDC, vulnerable populations include those who have difficulty communicating (e.g., language barriers or speech and hearing impaired), accessing medical care, maintaining independence, or accessing transportation.
Health Department data reveal that multigenerational households are also vulnerable because it is difficult if not impossible for sick individuals to isolate from the other residents. Oftentimes these same households are supported by essential workers who become exposed to the virus in their workplace and then bring the infection to the household.
It is vitally important for residents to communicate with Health Department contact tracing personnel who are working to decrease disease spread. Contact tracing is the process of determining who has been exposed to an infected person. When residents know they have been exposed, they can take precautions like wearing a mask, quarantining, social distancing, and monitoring for symptoms.
The Health Department does not give any private health information to law enforcement or other agencies.
For more information about free testing locations or COVID-19, call the Health Department hotline at (423) 209-8383.
The graph below shows the cumulative number of cases over time between Hispanic and non-Hispanic groups in Hamilton County.