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West Hartford Has First COVID-19 Death

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The Town of West Hartford announced the first known death of a resident from COVID-19 on Wednesday.

By Ronni Newton

The Town of West Hartford issued a press release Wednesday afternoon notifying the community that sadly the town has had its first death of a resident due to COVID-19.

“While not unexpected, it is nonetheless disheartening,” Aimee Krauss, acting director of the West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District, said in a statement.

Krauss said the individual was between the ages of 50 and 60.

She told We-Ha.com in an email that the Department of Public Health received the notification of the death on Wednesday, but she is unable to release any further information about whether or not the individual was male or female, was hospitalized at the time of death, or had any pre-existing health issues.“COVID-19 can kill anyone, and you are at risk no matter what your age,” she said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the individual and their family,” Krauss said.

“Sadly, West Hartford has lost a resident who had been diagnosed with COVID-19,” Mayor Shari Cantor said in a statement. “We extend our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of this individual. Unfortunately, there will almost certainly be others. This should serve as a grave reminder to all residents of how deadly and dangerous this disease is. Anyone who doesn’t follow the guidance of health officials is putting both their life and the lives of others at risk.”

The town’s first COVID-19 case – a female between the ages of 20 and 30 – was announced on March 20, and the number of cases rose gradually for about 10 days until Tuesday, when the total spiked by eight cases to 20. Three more cases were confirmed on Wednesday, but information about the demographics of those individuals was not yet available.

Town officials are remaining residents that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that while some people are at higher risk due to their age and medical conditions, there are increasing cases of younger people becoming seriously ill and dying from COVID-19 as well.

Town Manager Matt Hart reiterated that the town will continue measures to ensure “that West Hartford businesses and residents are complying with directives from state and local officials, especially requirements to maintain social distance and not congregate in groups.”

On Wednesday, town officials announced that tennis and pickleball courts on municipal and school facilities are closed until further notice, in addition to other facilities that had already been closed such as golf courses, basketball courts, and playscapes, and residents are required to comply with a statewide mandate to limit gatherings to no more than five people.

“The town is conducting compliance checks on workplaces and outdoor spaces, and our uniformed police force is actively patrolling for violations and responding to complaints,” said Hart.

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