The Athens City-County Health Department confirmed Monday the first COVID-19 death of an Athens County resident.

Athens County only has three confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of Monday morning.

There have been 1,653 confirmed cases and 29 confirmed deaths in Ohio as of Monday morning.

The health department has completed contact investigations for people with whom the individual may have come into contact.

The individual’s identity won’t be released to the public out of respect for the family, according to a press release from the Athens City-County Health Department.

Athens County is the second Ohio county with fewer than four confirmed COVID-19 cases to have a death. The first county is Gallia County.

James Gaskell, Athens County health commissioner, said Athens County hasn’t hit a surge yet, so there will be many more cases.

COVID-19 survives on humans, so if people don’t infect each other, the virus will die, Gaskell said.

“The enemy we face is insidious, highly-contagious, unseen and very worrisome,” Gaskell said in a statement.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

@ianmck9

im581017@ohio.edu