Santa Cruz County reports first COVID-19-related death

Posted at 12:04 PM, Mar 29, 2020

The Santa Cruz County Public Health Division announced the county's first death due to complications from the novel coronavirus.

According to a press release from the public health division, the COVID-19 patient was an adult male in his early 70s with an underlying health condition.

The man was admitted to a local hospital on March 19 with symptoms including fever and shortness of breath and later tested positive for the virus, said county health officials.

Health officials say the man died in the hospital on Saturday.

According to the public health division, the patient was employed in Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties. He had not recently traveled outside of the county and had no contact with another known case.

Health officials believe this infection was community acquired.

"We are deeply saddened to have one of our community members die due to this outbreak," said Santa Cruz County Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel. "Our top priority is protecting the lives of our community members, and we are working hard to make sure these solemn occasions are as rare as possible."

As of Sunday, Santa Cruz County has 41 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The majority of these cases are in individuals between 18 and 64 years old, the public health division said.