By Matthew Muir | Staff Writer
McLennan County suffered its second confirmed death from COVID-19 Thursday morning.
The death was announced Thursday afternoon in a statement from Waco Mayor Kyle Deaver. The 69-year-old male died Thursday morning at a local hospital and had underlying health conditions.
Deaver also said the Wednesday-night death of a 61-year-old male was under investigation, but had not been confirmed to be tied to the virus.
In the statement, Deaver said the death was a “tragic development, but not an unforeseen one,” and said the city is continuing to take actions to protect its population from COVID-19.
“As we know, particular sectors of our community are acutely at risk for serious symptoms that may ultimately prove fatal,” Deaver said. “We continue to take every action to protect and to inform vulnerable populations and we encourage our healthy residents to bear in mind the potential cost of the virus’ spread.”
In the statement Deaver also urged the local community to continue doing their part to prevent further spread of the virus.
“I call on all of our community to keep the victims’ families in their prayers and respect their privacy,” Deaver said. “Also, please continue doing everything possible to prevent further spread of COVID-19 by observing the required Social Distancing as described in our Order.”
Waco and McLennan County remain under a shelter-in-place order until April 21. City of Waco park amenities such as playgrounds, basketball and tennis courts, restrooms and the Cottonwood Creek Golf Course were closed beginning Thursday, though parks, trails and natural areas remain open.
As of Thursday afternoon, McLennan County had reported total 66 cases of COVID-19 with a further 81 people being monitored. 34 of these people in the county have recovered from the virus. Seven cases resulted in hospitalization.
Recent updates to the Waco-McLennan Public Health District’s COVID-19 website added an interactive map showing cases in the county by city, zip code and demographic, as well as statistics on the county’s medical resources. Currently McLennan County has 54 ICU beds with 14 in use and 66 ventilators with 11 in use. The website does not distinguish between ICU beds and ventilators used for standard medical cases and those in use by COVID-19 patients.
Waco’s first COVID-19 fatality was Phillip Perry, 49, principal of Waco ISD’s G.W. Carver Middle School. Perry also had underlying health conditions and died March 31 after contracting the virus. Funeral arrangements for Perry were announced Wednesday.