The Starke County Health Department has reported a second death from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). 

The adult male from Starke County died at a Hospice facility in St. Joseph County early Friday morning. The man, who was over the age of 60 and had pre-existing conditions, had been hospitalized as a COVID-19 patient. No additional details about the patient will be released due to privacy laws.

Starke County's first coronavirus-related death was reported on Monday, April 13.

According to Lynch, 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, avoid close contact with people who are sick, stay home when you’re sick, cover your cough or sneeze and clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it. A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms to protect others from the risk of infection.

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

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