County of Santa Clara Identifies Three Additional Early COVID-19 Deaths

April 21, 2020

Three individuals who died at home in February and March were positive for SARS-CoV-2

Santa Clara County, CA – The County of Santa Clara Medical Examiner-Coroner has identified three individuals who died with COVID-19 in Santa Clara County before the COVID-19 associated death on March 9, 2020, originally thought to be the first death associated with COVID-19 in the county. 

The Medical Examiner-Coroner performed autopsies on two individuals who died at home on February 6, 2020 and February 17, 2020. Samples from the two individuals were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Today, the Medical Examiner-Coroner received confirmation from the CDC that tissue samples from both cases are positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).  

Additionally, the Medical Examiner-Coroner has also confirmed that an individual who died in the county on March 6 died of COVID-19.

These three individuals died at home during a time when very limited testing was available only through the CDC.  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.  As the Medical Examiner-Coroner continues to carefully investigate deaths throughout the county, we anticipate additional deaths from COVID-19 will be identified.

Visit the County of Santa Clara COVID-19 website for frequent updates.


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