CLINTON, Mo. — Henry County is reporting their first death related to coronavirus COVID-19.
The Henry County Health Center said the patient was a man in his seventies and was one of Missouri’s first positive cases of the virus that was reported on March 13.
The patient was hospitalized in Clinton before being taken on March 8 to a hospital in Kansas where a specimen was collected for testing and where the patient died weeks later.
Local health department officials are working with the hospital in Clinton and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to identify close contacts of the patient to monitor for symptoms and contain the spread.
According to Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker the patient was William “Al” Grimes who served as the Chairman for the Henry County Democratic Committee and was active in Democratic Clubs and campaigns through Missouri’s 4th Congressional District and was a proud Navy Veteran. He ran for State Representative in Missouri’s 57th House District in 2014 and 2016.
“We are saddened that this patient passed away, and our thoughts are with his loved ones,” said Peggy Bowles, administrator of the Henry County Health Center. “Our health center is continuing to monitor this situation very closely. We still encourage people to stay home if they can, practice social distancing and wash their hands well and often.”
Ten other deaths have been reported in Missouri with a total of 838 reported positive cases as of Saturday, according to DHSS. The health department said it is possible that other circumstances caused or contributed to the deaths of these individuals.