Coronavirus Patient Dies In Santa Clara County

Kathy Novak
March 09, 2020 - 1:16 pm
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.

Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM

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A woman in her 60s has become the first person to die from COVID-19 in Santa Clara County, officials there said Monday. 

The woman had an underlying chronic health condition and had been hospitalized for several weeks at El Camino Hospital, where she died Monday morning.

 "This is a tragic development," said Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody. "The Public Health Department is taking necessary, carefully considered steps to slow down the spread of the disease and protect those at greatest risk."

The county’s Public Health Department first confirmed the woman had contracted the virus on Feb. 28. She was the third confirmed case in the county and is thought to be the first to contract the virus from “community spread” because she had not traveled internationally or had any contact with an infected person.

There are currently 37 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the county. Many of those patients have either been hospitalized or self-quarantined.

The county’s first case was in a man who had traveled to Shanghai and Wuhan, China in January. He has since fully recovered.

Meanwhile, San Francisco announced five new cases Monday, and Marin County officials have confirmed their first case. The patient was a passenger on a voyage of the Grand Princess cruise ship in February.

There are more than 500 cases across the country now and the majority are in California and Washington.