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Villager dies of COVID-19

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Village resident Matthew Huntington has died from COVID-19.

Huntington, 50, died Saturday, April 18, at Soin Medical Center in Beavercreek, where he battled the disease for more than two weeks.

Huntington grew up in the village and graduated from Yellow Springs High School. He is survived by his parents Lee and Jeff Huntington, his sister, Laura McDonald, and John McDonald, his brother-in-law. A full obituary from the family will be in a future issue of the News.

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On Monday, April 20, Village Council President Brian Housh led Council in a moment of silence for Huntington, who is Yellow Springs’ first fatality from the novel coronavirus.

“This is a great loss to our community,” Housh said.

Huntington was best known locally as a musician and as an avid player of bridge and Dungeons and Dragons, according to his mother, Lee Huntington. He played the bass clarinet in the Yellow Springs Community Band and Community Orchestra, and regularly played bridge at the Yellow Springs Senior Center.

On April 7, Huntington became the first Yellow Springs resident confirmed to be infected with the virus. A few days earlier, on April 5, he was transported by the Miami Township Fire-Rescue squad to Soin Medical Center, where he spent most of his time in the intensive care unit and on a ventilator. He fell ill around March 25.

According to Laura McDonald, his sister, Huntington believed he contracted the virus while working at a Spectrum call center in Columbus, where he handled high level customer support cases for the telecommunications firm.

Huntington returned to work at Spectrum on March 22 following a short vacation spent at home, after which “he was scrupulously careful not to interact with anyone else or do any shopping,” McDonald wrote in a public post on social media.

Huntington posted on his own social media page that he was headed back to work “into a one-room floor where we’re packed like sardines.”

“I’m assuming that once I do I’ll be infected and won’t be going out except for the dog,” he added.

Huntington returned to work for three days, after which he was given permission to work from home, according to McDonald. However, he soon developed his first symptoms, and on April 2 he posted on his social media page about having various symptoms, including fatigue and a fever.

At the Council meeting, Housh described Huntington as “so Yellow Springs,” and said he took precautions to avoid infection.

“He was adamant about social distancing,” Housh said. “Unfortunately, his work required him to go into work in Columbus.”

On Tuesday, Greene County Public Health confirmed Huntington’s death as the third in the county from COVID-19. The others were an 87-year-old Cedarville woman, who died on March 26, and a county woman in her 60s, who died on April 14. A second death on April 14 was reclassified by county health authorities as not being related to COVID-19.

As of Tuesday, April 21, there have been 39 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county and nine hospitalizations. Statewide there have been 12,919 confirmed cases, 2,779 hospitalizations and 557 deaths related to the novel coronavirus.

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