First COVID-19 death reported in Richland County

Staff report - [email protected]

RICHLAND COUNTY — Richland Public Health is reporting the death of a Richland County resident (Mansfield) who was a hospitalized patient who had tested positive for COVID-19. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine confirmed the death in his 2 p.m. press conference today saying the deceased was a guard at the Marion Correctional Institution.

“On behalf of the entire county, we express our deepest sympathies for the family and friends of the patient who died,” said Sarah Humphrey, Health Commissioner for Richland Public Health. “Our thoughts go out to the Richland County community, as well as all Ohioans, and those across the world battling this illness and the families of everyone affected by this pandemic.”

The case was originally reported by Richland Public Health and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) when there was a positive test for COVID-19. Any additional identifiable information will not be released from Richland Public Health about the patient to respect the family’s privacy.

All local health departments have been working tirelessly preparing for and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic as each case is identified. This includes reaching out to all known contacts of COVID-19 cases to help prevent the spread of this disease.

“For each positive COVID-19 test, Richland Public Health immediately starts a process to identify close contacts to the case. This process starts with each case to limit the potential of further exposure to the public,” said Humphrey.

It is important to continue to follow standard precautions to prevent the spread of infectious disease. To prevent the spread of any virus including novel coronavirus, practice these preventative measures:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, your sleeve or other cloth (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Keep a physical distance (at least six feet) away from anyone you come in contact.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces – doorknobs, light switches, keyboards, etc…
  • And most importantly, stay home when you are sick.

Ohioans can call ODH’s COVID-19 hotline with any questions at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634). The call center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. or visit

Staff report

[email protected]