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COWLITZ COUNTY, WA (KPTV) - Health officials have confirmed the first deaths in Cowlitz County due to COVID-19.

Cowlitz County Health and Human Services reported Wednesday that two people in the county had died from the virus.

Both people were in their 80s and had underlying health conditions, according to county officials. Both people required intensive care and died at the hospital.

No further details were released about the patients.

“Our condolences go out to the family and loved ones of these individuals. The tragic passing of these residents is a reminder that our rural county is not immune from the permanent and painful impact of this disease,” said CCHHS Deputy Health Officer Dr. Steven Krager.

Cowlitz County has had 322 people test positive for COVID-19, but health officials said they have seen a “significant increase” in cases over the last month.

“Mask wearing, social distancing and personal hygiene remain the best ways to prevent the transmission of the disease,” according to Cowlitz County Health and Human Services.

The Washington State Department of Health has reported more than 42,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases statewide. There have been around 676,000 negative tests statewide, according to the department.

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