AMSTERDAM — Retired Amsterdam firefighter Dave Swart died Friday at St. Mary's Hospital after battling a COVID-19 infection for the last several weeks.
Dave Swart is the first known fatal case of COVID-19 in Montgomery County.
Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort confirmed Swart's death Friday in a post made to the county's Facebook page.
"On behalf of our Montgomery County family, we are deeply saddened by the loss of Dave Swart," Ossenfort said. "Our hearts go out to his family, friends, the Amsterdam Fire Department and the many lives he touched throughout the community. Such a kind person will be missed by all."
District 9 Legislator Robert Purtell issued a statement Friday about Dave Swart.
"It is unfortunate that the Corona virus has reared its ugly head in our Community," Purtell said. "It has taken one of our friends, it has taken a man that served and protected our community for many years. We will never forget David Swart."
Swart was the former president of the Amsterdam Professional Firefighters IAFF 2825 union, and he was also the owner of Dave's Dawgs hotdog truck.
Dave Swart's wife Pam Swart made public the information about his hospitalization and his positive test for COVID-19. She said she didn't want her husband to be a statistic, and hoped that their story would drive home the importance of taking the deadly virus seriously.
On Friday Montgomery County reported a total of 12 lab confirmed positive COVID-19 cases among county residents. County officials said 4 of those patients have made a full recovery and finished quarantine, 3 remain under medical care and 5 are under home-based quarantine.
The Montgomery County Department of Public Health is also monitoring 35 other people who've been placed on quarantine.
"This pandemic has caused tragedy worldwide, and now it will have forever impacted us in Montgomery County," Ossenfort said. "We offer our strength and support, to the Swart family and all families being affected by COVID-19."
Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam, issued a statement about Dave Swart Friday.
"It brings me great sadness to hear that Dave Swart has passed away as a result of complications from the coronavirus. He was an amazing person and a friend of Amsterdam. Anyone who knew Dave was surely touched by his kindness. His presence in our community will surely be missed," Santabarbara said.
"My profoundest condolences to my good friend Pam Swart and all of Dave’s family and friends. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Rest in peace Dave, you will be missed."
More information about this story will be in Saturday's Daily Gazette and Amsterdam Recorder.