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A Kanawha County nursing home patient who tested positive for COVID-19 died Sunday, the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department announced.

It’s the first COVID-19-related death in Kanawha County and the 20th reported in West Virginia. The patient was a resident at Eastbrook Center nursing facility in Kanawha City, according to a news release. The state Department of Health and Human Resources identified him as an 80-year-old male. His name was not released.

Nine other patients have tested positive for COVID-19 in the facility since early April, according to a release from Stonerise Healthcare, which operates the nursing home.

“This is not unexpected, but it is tragic,” said KCHD health officer Dr. Sherri Young in the release. “Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and Health Command extend our deepest sympathies to the patient’s family and friends.”

The health department tested over 250 patients and staffers from the Eastbrook Center. The first patient tested positive at the facility on April 5.

“We are saddened to learn of the passing of one of our Eastbrook Center patients,” said Larry Pack, Stonerise’s chief executive officer. “We consider all of our patients to be part of our family and we offer our sincerest condolences and prayers to the patient’s loved ones.”

The remaining patients are being isolated, according to Stonerise.

On Friday, Young said cases of COVID-19 in the county have yet to peak. Kanawha County saw its highest reported number of positives in one day — 18 — on Thursday, with 16 coming from Riverside Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, near St. Albans.

The peak for cases may be this week, Young said Friday. In Sunday’s release, she said now is not the time to let up on following social distancing guidelines.

“While we mourn a community member, we must continue to take the necessary steps to keep ourselves and our neighbors safe from this disease,” Young said.

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