First death from COVID-19 confirmed in Shelby County

SIDNEY – The Sidney-Shelby County Health Department reported the first confirmed death from COVID-19 in Shelby County on Friday afternoon. The individual was a man in his 80s.

“My entire staff extends our deepest and heartfelt condolences to all the family members in the wake of this tragedy,” Health Commissioner Steven Tostrick said. “Shelby County is a close community. This affects us all. We strongly recommend the Shelby County community take the necessary precautions to protect themselves against COVID-19.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, individuals age 65 years and older are at higher risk for severe illness. COVID-19 is a new disease, and officials are learning more about it every day.

On March 22, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton issued a director’s order to require all Ohioans to stay in their homes to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. This order prohibits holding gatherings of any size and closed all nonessential businesses. It does not prohibit essential activities like going to the grocery store, receiving medical care or taking a pet for a walk. Residents can return home from out of state and can leave the state.

The Sidney-Shelby County Health Department will continue working with local, state and community partners in order to prevent future cases and to educate those in Shelby County to practice social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19. Individuals can follow these steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and dry hands with a clean towel or allow to air dry.

• Use at least 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.

• Cover your mouth with a tissue or cough into your sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

• Avoid touching your eyes, noses or mouth with unwashed hands.

• Stay home when you are sick.

• Avoid contact with people who are sick. Stay at least 6 feet away from each other.

• Clean “high-touch” surfaces often. These include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, desks and tablets.

The Sidney-Shelby County Health Department does not diagnose, test or treat COVID-19. Anyone who is feeling sick or has questions about personal health should contact their health care provider or an urgent care provider. Emergency rooms should only be used for immediate life-threatening conditions.

As a reminder for the public, symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

If a person thinks they may have symptoms or have come in contact with a positive COVID-19 case, they should call their doctor. People with mild illness are encouraged to stay home and care for themselves. It is strongly discouraged to show up to a health care provider office or hospitals without calling first, which can risk the health of others.

For more information, visit or call ODH COVID-19 Hotline at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634). The ODH call center is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.