Wilkes County now has its fifth death related to COVID-19, reported the Wilkes County Health Department Thursday morning.

The person, a Wilkes resident in his/her 70s, died from complications associated with the virus on Wednesday at a hospital in Guilford County, said Wilkes Health Department Director Rachel Willard. The person had underlying health conditions, she added.

Willard said that to protect privacy of families of people who die from COVID-19, no further information is provided.

“This unfortunate situation is a reminder that we should continue to follow social distancing to protect ourselves and those around us, especially those who are at an increased risk, and who are most vulnerable, she added.

Three of Wilkes County’s five deaths occurred last week and the first one occurred on March 31. This

Wilkes County’s confirmed COVID-19 case total was 484 as of Thursday morning, with 459 of those people considered recovered. Wilkes now has 20 active COVID-19 cases, based on 459 being recovered and five deaths. Seven of those 20 people are hospitalized.

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