Jovan stresses need for ‘serious’ effort against ‘invisible enemy’

SOUTHBRIDGE — The first local death attributed to COVID-19 has occurred, local officials confirmed on Tuesday evening.

The identity of the deceased was not released, nor were any identifying characteristics such as age or gender. Town officials offered their condolences to the victim and their family.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family,” said Town Council Chairman John “Jack” Jovan.

“We are, as a community, sorry for the loss,” Town Manager Ronald San Angelo told The Citizen Chronicle.

Jovan said town officials learned of the death on Tuesday morning as part of its regular updates on the COVID-19 situation.

“It’s here in the community so really you have to stay diligent,” Jovan explained. “You have to be so cautious no matter what you do until the threat goes away.”

He also stressed the importance for individuals to “take it seriously” and labeled the virus “an invisible enemy.”

“It just underscores the importance of following those guidelines,” Jovan added.

The death is the first in Southbridge tied to coronavirus, though 356 deaths have been reported by state officials as of 4 p.m. on Tuesday. In Worcester County, five new deaths were reported by state officials on Tuesday, including a male in his 70s with pre-existing conditions, a male in his 80s with “unknown” pre-existing conditions, a female in her 80s with pre-existing conditions, a female in her 90s with pre-existing conditions, and a female in her 90s with “unknown” pre-existing conditions.

In Southbridge, 16 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been identified. State officials reported on Tuesday there are 15,202 cases across Massachusetts, including 1,171 in Worcester County.

“It is concerning that the numbers are rising,” Jovan said. “We’re doing everything in town that we possible can to be prepared for anything that comes our way.”

4 thoughts on “Southbridge suffers first COVID-19 death”

  1. There has been 3 cases in the housing authority building on Charlton Street. Why hasn’t the board of health make them tell us who it is so we know if we have been in contact with them. Why don’t they test all the residents before it spreads through the whole building???,. It’s so irresponsible the way it’s being handled.

  2. It is my understanding that the executor of that building told the people not to congregate in the lobbies or sit there and play cards. And certainly not to go out and spread any potential virus that might be on you.And there’s also a law that called the Hyppa law that they cannot just tell you who was sick. So you should’ve just stayed in your apartment and not exposed to the people I’ve been exposed to other people.

    1. Thank God I did not expose other people nor was I exposed. I listened to what the suggestions were and I wore appropriate face masks and gloves when I didn’t need to go to the market.Elaine says:

      Thank God I did not expose other people nor was I exposed. I listened to what the suggestions were and I wore appropriate face masks and gloves when I didn’t need to go to the market.

  3. I’m truly saddened by our first loss to this unseen enemy here in town but I choose to focus on the unbelievable way it has brought our community together. My condolences to the families that have been afflicted by this virus. My thoughts and prayers go out to you all nightly. I have every faith that our town leaders are doing the very best they can with what we have. Our low numbers show everyone’s due diligence. Please remember at al times that you are not alone during our of self social distance isolation and to think of others and what you can do not only for yourself but them too. I’m happy to see when I’m out in public shopping people’s consideration and respect for each other by not hoarding items and by their kindness in going the extra mile to help those out in need. I’d like to recognize Luis Antoni as just one of those people. By and through his and his families efforts he went out of his way above and beyond to bring home cooked meals to those of us in the community in need. Our town is fill of greatness and heroes. I’m keeping the faith that this crisis will forever bring us all closer together as a community here in town.
    -Michael A. Segarra 2020 town council hopeful.

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