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County experiences first COVID-19 death

Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley announced the county’s first death tied to complications from COVID-19 on Thursday.

“This is a day I hoped would not come,” he said. “We have received confirmation that one of our hospitalized cases passed away late last night.”

Mosley asked locals to “please pray” for the man’s family and friends during this time.

“Let’s all honor this man who was taken by this deadly virus and his family by lighting as many places up green as we can to show compassion for their loss over the next few days,” he said.

Mosley said the county has also confirmed a new case, which is a 48-year-old female (symptomatic; hospitalized). This makes the 16th confirmed case of COVID-19 in Harlan County

Mosley said the new case is connected to the community spread taking place in the tri-city area, expressing his concern for residents in those communities.

“Please follow CDC guidelines regarding hand washing, wearing a mask, and practice social distancing anywhere you go in public,” he said, adding the health department has more than 100 contacts of cases in quarantine from the tri-city area.

“If you are not in quarantine, act as if everyone you come into contact with has the virus,” he said. “Eight of the nine active cases in Harlan County are in the tri-city area.”

Mosley said anyone who is a contact of an individual who tested positive for COVID-19, the Harlan County Health Department will reach out to them directly as part of their contact tracing investigation.