Richland Public Health building

Richland Public Health is located at 555 Lexington Ave. in Mansfield. (Richland Source file photo)

MANSFIELD -- Richland County has recorded its 19th death due to COVID-19, according to public health officials.

A 79-year-old woman became the county's first coronavirus-related death in September, according to Richland Public Health Commissioner Sarah Humphrey.

The woman did not live in a congregate living/care center, but she did have an underlying medical condition, Humphrey said.

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The woman died on Sept. 10, becoming the county's first COVID-19 death since Aug. 31. Six Richland County residents died in August.

Eleven of the local deaths since the pandemic reached Ohio in March have involved people living in long-term care settings.

At least 18 of the 19 had an underlying medical condition that made them more vulnerable to the virus. In the case of the remaining death, RPH said it was not reported if there was an underlying condition.

As of Friday afternoon, according to the Ohio Department of Health website, Richland County has had 775 positive COVID-19 cases with 102 hospitalizations and 684 presumed recoveries.

On Thursday, Richland County was upgraded to "orange," or level two, in the statewide Public Health Advisory System, created in July to monitor COVID-19 spread.

It's the first time since Aug. 13 that Richland County was not rated as "yellow," the best ranking in the four-tiered, color-coded system.

The change was largely based on increased outpatient and emergency room visits by local residents, related to COVID-19.

The state also on Thursday published on its website a new dashboard detailing COVID-19 cases in Ohio schools.

According to the website, there have been five "cumulative" cases in Richland County schools, including one staff member at Clear Fork, one student at Lexington, one student at Mansfield City Schools and two staff members at Ontario. None of the cases are listed as "new."

In long-term care facilities in Richland County, there are two active cases, according to the ODH website, which was last updated Wednesday. The cases involve one resident and one staff member at the Lexington Court Care Center.

At the Richland Correctional Institution in Mansfield, 11 inmates are listed as currently testing positive for COVID-19, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction website. The site was updated Friday.

The website said 961 inmates in the "open bay" facility are in quarantine with 13 inmates in isolation. There are nine inmates awaiting test results.

The ODRC website showed no current cases at the Mansfield Correctional Institution.

City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when the page was blank?"