The Medical Examiner-Coroner of the County of Santa Clara Medical has recent 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 point to COVID-19 at the cause. Samples from these two individuals were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This week, 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).
In addition, 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.