File Photo. | Photo: Heidi Zeiger.

The Lake County Health Department said the county is honoring the lives of over 1,000 residents who have died to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

The first COVID-19 death in Lake County was reported on March 24, 2020.

The county since passed the 1,000 death mark on Thursday when it reported 1,001 virus-related deaths.

“As we pause to acknowledge this somber milestone, we do so at a time of hope,” Lake County Board Chair Sandy Hart said.

“Our fond remembrance of the family members, friends, and neighbors who have lost their lives to COVID-19 reminds us how far we have come in our fight against this global threat. As we enter a new season of recovery in Lake County, we will never forget the great cost to our families and communities throughout the pandemic,” Hart said.

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Over 3.53 million deaths have been reported from the disease worldwide, including over 594,000 in the United States.

Hart will lead the county in a moment of silence during the upcoming Lake County Board meeting at 9 a.m. on June 8. Residents are invited to share a tribute to loved ones who have died due to COVID-19 on the Lake County Health Department Facebook page.

The health department said that Lake County is gradually emerging from restrictions “thanks to effective and safe vaccines” and hard work from residents.

“We all have a role in protecting our communities from COVID-19, and I am grateful to our Lake County residents for the sacrifices they have made to save lives,” said Mark Pfister, Executive Director of the Lake County Health Department.

“We urge our community to remain steadfast in making healthy choices to keep each other safe, and to get vaccinated as soon as possible. The end of the pandemic is on the horizon, and it takes our entire community working together to get there,” Pfister said.

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Those interested in scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine appointment can do so by signing up on the AllVax Portal or by calling 847-377-8130.