66-year-old Milwaukee man dies from COVID-19, 1st death in Milwaukee County

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MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's office on Friday, March 20 said they are investigating the death of a 66-year-old man from complications of COVID-19. The man was a Milwaukee resident and had been hospitalized for several days prior to his death.

Lawrence Riley

"It got to the point where he couldn`t even walk and his breathing got really hard so that`s when we finally my mom said we are going to get you to the hospital," Elvaughn Riley said. He lost his father Lawrence Riley to complications of COVID-19.

"It's surreal, like a really bad dream," he said.

Riley says his father had a fever and started showing signs of the coronavirus last weekend.

"It got to the point where he couldn't even walk and his breathing got really hard so that's when we finally my mom said we are going to get you to the hospital," he said.

Just days after being admitted, sadly he passed away. Leaving loved ones heartbroken and puzzled.

"We don't know where he could have gotten it from or where? He hasn't traveled out of state, he hasn't been out of the state in a year."

Riley says his father was a family man and loved by many.

This marks the third death in Wisconsin due to COVID-19. The first death was a male in his 50s from Fond du Lac County. The second death was a male in his 90s from Ozaukee County.

Working with the Centers for Disease Control and Wisconsin public health officials, Gov. Evers declared a state of emergency on March 12, 2020. This action allowed DHS to use all available resources to respond to and contain the outbreak.

DHS is working with our local and tribal health officers, health care providers, and other partners to adjust the response to COVID-19 as needed.

As always, the public should follow simple steps to avoid getting sick, including:

  • Frequent and thorough handwashing.
  • Covering coughs and sneezes.
  • Avoiding touching your face.
  • Staying home when able.
  • Avoiding gatherings of 10 or more people
  • Practicing social distancing.

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