STARKE COUNTY — The Starke County Health Department announced today a fourth death of a local individual with a case of COVID-19. The death was reflected on the Indiana State Department of Health's COVID-19 dashboard.

The adult male from Starke County died at LaPorte Hospital on Wednesday, July 15, 2020. The man, who was over 60-years-of-age, tested positive for COVID-19 and had been hospitalized. No further information about the patient will be released due to privacy laws. 

The other three deaths of Starke County residents who had tested positive for the coronavirus were recorded on Saturday, April 11, Friday, May 1, and Monday, May 18.

Starke County Health Department officials note that COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a novel, or new, coronavirus that has not been previously identified. It is not the same as the type of coronavirus that causes the common cold. 

COVID-19 is most commonly spread from an infected person to others through respiratory droplets released into the air by coughing and sneezing, close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands, touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands; and rarely, fecal contamination. 

Many people who acquire COVID-19 will have mild symptoms, can self-isolate and do not need to be tested. Older individuals and those with underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness. 

The best ways to protect yourself are to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, socially distance yourself 6 feet from other people, avoid close contact with people who are sick, stay home when you’re sick, cover your coughs or sneezes and clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. 

For more information, including frequently asked questions about COVID-19, visit the Indiana State Department of Health’s COVID-19 website at https://coronavirus.IN.gov.

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