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St. Louis' Metro East Has Its First Death From COVID-19 As Pandemic In Illinois Worsens

St. Clair County officials on Saturday announced the Metro East's first two positive cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus. They held the press conference at the county health department. 03/14/20
Andrea Henderson | St. Louis Public Radio
St. Clair County officials on Friday announced the Metro East's first death from COVID-19.

Editor's note: This story was originally published in the Belleville News-Democrat

A woman in her 80s from St. Clair County died Friday of COVID-19, the first death in the Metro East.

The woman had underlying health conditions.

St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern expressed condolences to the woman’s loved ones.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the latest victim of this virus,” Kern said in a prepared statement. “This is a tragic loss to our community and a reminder that no one is immune to COVID-19. Everyone, regardless of age, race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status can be infected if they are exposed to COVID-19. For this reason, everyone must protect themselves, their families, friends and colleagues by following the preventative measures and social distancing guidelines.”

As of Thursday, there were 13 confirmed coronavirus cases in St. Clair County, six in Madison, five in Clinton, one in Washington and three in Monroe.

In Illinois, the total number of cases rose by 673 on Thursday, and seven new deaths were announced, said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health.

In Illinois, there were 2,538 coronavirus cases and 26 deaths as of Thursday.

Kelsey Landis is a reporter with the Belleville News-Democrat, a reporting partner of St. Louis Public Radio.

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Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.