Winnebago County reports first COVID-19 death
By Jim Hagerty
ROCKFORD – Local officials confirmed Tuesday that a man in his 60s has died in Winnebago County from complications of COVID-19.
The man is believed to be the 100th person to have succumbed to the viral infection in the state. There has been a total of 5,594 infections in 54 Illinois counties.
Winnebago County Health Department Director Sandra Martell declined to released any information about the victim, but read a statement written by his family.
“He was husband, a son, a brother, a friend,” she read.
Martell also announced five more cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed–two people in their 50s, a person in their 30s, a person in their 20s and a person in their 40s. There are now 19 confirmed cases in Winnebago County.
“The seriousness of this disease and impact on our community is visible,” Martell said. “The best way to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community is to stay home. Please stay home and show compassion others, and please keep the families in your prayers.”
Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara said he’s been preparing for the COVID-19 outbreak to come with difficult times for the city, but said he wasn’t prepared to have to announce a tragedy because of the pandemic so soon.
“The individual that we lost today, when you think about it,” the mayor said, “and the family, the grieving they’re going through–it’s all of us as Rockfordians. It’s certainly one of the toughest days we’ve had in this battle against COVID-19.”