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Seneca County reports first confirmed COVID-19 death

Seneca County Public Health says it has received confirmation of its first COVID-related death.

The Seneca County Health Department received notification on Friday that a Seneca County resident who had tested positive for COVID-19 passed away. This is the first reported death related to COVID-19 in Seneca County. The individual was a male in his late 60’s and passed away while hospitalized.

Vickie Swinehart, Public Health Director talked about the death in a press release. “We have anticipated that this virus would cause loss in our community. We will feel the pain of every loss. We must now take social distancing and our recommendations to wear face coverings out in public very seriously, these are not merely suggestions, we must do these actions to save lives,” she said. “We are deeply saddened to learn of the news that one of our community members has succumbed to COVID- 19.”

“We send our most heartfelt condolences on behalf of Seneca County to his family,” added County Manager, C. Mitchell Rowe. Robert Hayssen.

Chairman of the Seneca County Board of Supervisors also expressed his sincerest condolences to the family.

Swinehart added that maintaining social distance if leaving your home is important. “If you have to leave your home, please maintain 6ft of distance between yourself and others, only go out if absolutely necessary for essentials, make one trip, and wear a cloth mask over your mouth and nose in public,” she said. “Individuals who are experiencing mild symptoms associated with COVID-19 should treat their symptoms at home and should contact their healthcare provider if their symptoms worsen.”

Symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, fever and shortness of breath.

She continued, pointing out the importance of personal responsibility moving forward. “All Seneca County residents must act responsibly as one community to protect our most vulnerable citizens,” Swinehart added. “Please stay home, do not gather with friends and family who do not reside with you at this time. In order for us to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities we must stay home. By staying home, we are staying safe and we save lives.”

Earlier in the week Cayuga County reported its first COVID-related death.

For more information and frequent updates on COVID-19 residents are encouraged to contact the Seneca County Health Department at (315) 539-1920 or email us at [email protected] or contact the NYSDOH COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065. For online resources visit,, and