First COVID-19 death confirmed in Mecklenburg County

Public Health Director Gibbie Harris said this first death emphasizes the importance to stay at home and away from others.

Mecklenburg County officials have confirmed the county’s first death due to the COVID-19 coronavirus was a 60-year-old resident who died on Sunday while in hospital care.

During a news conference, Public Health Director Gibbie Harris said the deceased had significant underlying health conditions.

“This first death of a Mecklenburg County resident due to COVID-19 emphasizes the importance to stay at home and away from others to stop the spread of this virus,” Harris said during Sunday’s updates.

Mecklenburg County’s stay-at-home order went into effect on Thursday. A statewide order goes into effect Monday at 5 p.m.

While the order allows for outdoor activities like exercising, weekend sightings of people at parks, lakes and sandbars saw that many weren’t complying with directions to stay at least six feet apart from each other.

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Currently, people can report large gatherings by dialing 3-1-1. Charlotte Mecklenburg police officers are following up on all complaints, Harris said.

“There are extra levels of restriction that can be applied if necessary,” she told reporters. “It’s possible that we would need to look at enforcement different than we are at this point in time.”

As of 10 a.m. on Sunday, there were 315 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mecklenburg County.