Dr. Alex Hsu, who worked at Northwest Medical Center in Broward County, has died after testing positive for the COVID-19 virus.
The 67-year-old is the first Broward doctor to die from the virus, according to a report from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Broward Medical Examiner Dr. Craig Mallak confirmed Hsu’s death with the outlet.
As of a Thursday morning update, three people inside Broward County had died due to the virus. Hsu would be the fourth.
South Florida is the hardest hit region in the state when it comes to the coronavirus.
Through Thursday morning, there were 504 confirmed cases in Broward County. That makes up more than 21% of all cases in the state.
But Broward is second to Miami-Dade County in terms of total positive tests. Miami-Dade had 616 confirmed cases as of Thursday morning.
Most who show symptoms develop a fever or cough and may have trouble breathing, though they do recover. Older individuals and those with underlying health risks are susceptible to developing more severe symptoms, however.
The death rate in the U.S. has hovered slightly above 1%. But experts worry that if hospitals are overwhelmed with cases, that could inhibit doctors’ ability to treat patients and send that death rate even higher.
The state has seen a surge in confirmed cases in recent days. But that’s driven in large part from the simple fact the state is testing more, thus allowing officials to more accurately record the number of people who have contracted the virus.
Both Broward and Miami Dade counties have seen varying levels of restrictions put in place, at both the county and city level. Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie has also said he expects K-12 schools to operate remotely for the remainder of the school year, though no final decision has yet been made.