Santa Clara County’s Medical Examiner-Coroner confirmed that at least two people died in February from Covid-19, meaning the novel coronavirus causing the disease had been spreading earlier in the community than previously believed.
Tissue samples taken from two local residents who died at home tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, county health officials announced on Tuesday. The decedents succumbed to the disease on Feb. 6 and 17.
Until this week, the earliest Covid-19 fatality in the U.S. was believed to have happened on Feb. 29 in Kirkland, Washington, and a March 9 Covid-19 death was believed to be the first in Santa Clara County.
On Tuesday, Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner Dr. Michelle Jorden announced the findings on the February fatalities as part of a batch of results from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirming that another person died from Covid-19 on March 6.
All three died at home during a time when tests were hard to come by.
“Testing criteria set by the CDC at the time restricted testing to only individuals with a known travel history and who sought medical care for specific symptoms,” the county explained. “As the Medical Examiner-Coroner continues to carefully investigate deaths throughout the county, we anticipate additional deaths from Covid-19 will be identified.”
As of the latest count posted on Tuesday, 1,946 people in the county have been confirmed to have the disease out of a total 19,928 tested.
Eighty-eight of them died and 175 are hospitalized.
County of Santa Clara Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody addresses the three deaths announced last night and talks about race and ethnicity of confirmed COVID-19 cases.Full Transcript: https://pastebin.com/14rhrKzF
Posted by County of Santa Clara Public Health Department on Wednesday, April 22, 2020