Guilford County has seen a steady increase in the number of coronavirus cases to strike its residents, and on Tuesday, March 31, Guilford County government made the sad announcement that the county had experienced its first death due to the disease that has gripped the entire planet.

Late Tuesday afternoon, the Guilford County Division of Public Health reported that a resident of the county had died from the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. The county didn’t release the sex or any identifying information of the 78-year-old who died earlier in the day from complications associated with the disease.

Like many people killed by the virus worldwide, this victim had underlying medical conditions.

The statement from the county announcing the death noted that, in order to protect the privacy of the family, no further information about the deceased would be released.

Guilford County Interim Health Director Dr. Iulia Vann – who just got that job one month ago and since then has had a sort of baptism by fire – expressed sympathy over the death and noted the steps Guilford County is taking to prevent others from sharing the same fate.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and their loved ones,” Vann stated in the county’s press release. “This death is a tragic occurrence in our efforts to combat COVID-19. It underscores the urgent need for us to take extra steps to protect residents who are particularly vulnerable to developing more serious illness, including elderly persons and those with underlying health conditions.”

Vann added that Guilford County is taking “necessary, carefully considered steps” in order to slow down the spread of the disease and protect those at greatest risk.

“We are facing a historic public health challenge and know this is a very difficult time,” she stated in the county’s press release. “Our top priority continues to be protecting the health of our community. I urge every resident to strictly follow Guilford County’s Stay at Home Proclamation Order as this is an important piece in the fight to slow community spread.”