Preble County Public Health announces first county COVID-19 related death

R-H staff

PREBLE COUNTY — The Preble County Public Health (PCPH) Department has confirmed the first death in Preble County from 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The individual is a female in their late 60’s who tested positive for the virus in March.

“Our entire staff extends our deepest and heartfelt condolences to all the family members in the wake of this tragedy,” said Erik Balster, Health Commissioner. “Preble County is a close community. This affects us all.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), older adults age 65 years and older are at higher risk for severe illness.

“COVID-19 is a new disease, and we are learning more about it every day. PCPH continues to work with local, state, and community partners in order to slow the spread of cases and to encourage those in Preble County to practice social distancing,” Balster said.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Other symptoms can also include headache, body aches, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and lack of appetite.

“If you have any of these symptoms, you should stay home and isolate yourself to one room and one bathroom for at least 14 days. If symptoms last longer than 14 days, you should stay home for 1 week after the symptoms completely go away,” Balster said. “People with mild illness are encouraged to stay home and care for themselves.”

Balster says his advice to the entire county remains the same.

“Stay home. Stay away from others. Please don’t let your guard down now,” said Balster. “Make only necessary trips out, and make them short. Check on your family and neighbors by phone or text during the week. If they are older, keep them at home and make trips out for them.”

Fear and anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions. If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, call the Disaster Distress Hotline at 1-800-985-5990.

PCPH will continue to provide accurate local data on their website at and on social media (@PrebleCoHealth). If you have questions about COVID-19 you can contact Preble County Public Health at 937-472-0087 or at You may also call ODH COVID-19 Hotline for questions at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

R-H staff