Coroner: coronavirus not to be taken lightly after senior infected at church dies from virus

Elizabeth Wells, 65, of West Rome, died from respiratory failure due to the coronavirus.

FLOYD COUNTY, Ga. — A church where a handful of worshippers became sick with the coronavirus is mourning one of its members.

The Church at Liberty Square in Cartersville has since shut down as it tries to stop the spread of the virus.

Channel 2’s Lori Wilson spoke with the Floyd County coroner, Gene Proctor, via FaceTime on Thursday about the county’s first death due to the coronavirus.

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“This is something we can't take lightly at all,” Proctor said. “If you have any sort of compromised immune system, you're in danger from this."

Proctor confirmed that on Wednesday evening, Elizabeth Wells, 65, of West Rome, died from respiratory failure due to the coronavirus.

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“Her health degraded down to the point where it was a nonsurvivable incident for her,” Proctor said.

Because other members of her church tested positive for the coronavirus, doctors immediately tested Wells, but the coronavirus proved too much for her body to fight.

The senior pastor of the church posted a video on social media explaining the church would be closed for two weeks for decontamination.

Wilson contacted leadership at the church by phone Thursday evening but did not hear back.

In the video, the pastor did say service would be online and that the church would begin with prayers for those dealing with the coronavirus.

There are six confirmed cases so far in Floyd County.

“We still have several out that we are waiting on test results for COVID-19,” Proctor said.

As of Thursday night, the state confirmed a total of 287 cases of the coronavirus across Georgia, and Wells was one of 10 deaths due to the virus.