Second coronavirus death reported in California

The second coronavirus death in California was reported on Monday as a Santa Clara County woman in her 60s.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department said the woman had been hospitalized for several weeks and was the third case reported in Santa Clara County. However, she was the first person in the county to have caught the virus without any known history of international travel or contact with an infected person, authorities said. 

The woman died at El Camino Hospital on Monday morning. 

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"This is a tragic development. The Public Health Department is taking necessary, carefully considered steps to slow down the spread of the disease and to protect those at greatest risk,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer for Santa Clara County. “We are facing a historic public health challenge and know this is a very difficult time. Our top priority continues to be protecting the health of our community.”

The first coronavirus death in the state was reported March 4 after a 71-year-old man with underlying health conditions died after contracting COVID-19 in Placer County. The man was likely exposed during international travel from Feb. 11 to 21 on the Grand Princess cruise ship that left from San Francisco to Mexico, the health department said.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Anyone who experiences these symptoms should call their healthcare provider or local public health department first before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken.

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Although officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are urging residents to be prepared, they say you're still more likely to contract the flu than coronavirus.

The best ways to prevent the spread of respiratory infections, including novel coronavirus, are:

• Stay home if you are sick. Sick people make well people sick.
• If you have mild symptoms, there may be no need to go to a medical facility to see a doctor.
• Certain patients, such as the elderly, those that are immune-compromised or have underlying health conditions should call their doctor earlier.
• If you have questions, please call the clinic or your doctor before going in. If you do not have a healthcare provider, call 211 for assistance finding support near you.
• Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Get immunized against the flu to protect yourself and your family, and reduce the potential strain on the healthcare system, which may be impacted by COVID-19 concerns.

The CDC does not recommend people who are well to wear facemasks.