First COVID-19 deaths occurred in Bay Area in early February
The first known death from COVID-19 in the U.S. was believed to have occurred in Washington State in late February 2020, but the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner revealed on Tuesday that two individuals had died on Feb. 6 and Feb. 17 at home with coronavirus making them the first deaths recorded in the nation.
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"Today, the Medical Examiner-Coroner received confirmation from the CDC that tissue samples from both cases are positive for SARS-CoV-2," said a statement from the Santa Clara County Public Health Department.
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The Medical Examiner-Coroner also confirmed that a person who died in Santa Clara County on March 6 also had COVID-19. Before Tuesday, it was believed the first death to have occurred in the county from coronavirus was on March 9.
"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," the public health department said.
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Officials anticipate additional deaths from COVID-19 will be identified as the Medical Examiner-Coroner continues to investigate deaths throughout the county.
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This story was reported from Los Angeles