WALNUT CREEK (CBS SF) — Contra Costa health officials announced Friday that a patient in their 70s being treated in a local hospital has died of complications from the coronavirus, the county’s first death during the current virus outbreak.

While releasing few details, officials said: “The patient died Thursday in a hospital in Contra Costa County. The Contra Costa resident was in their 70s and had a pre-existing condition that put them at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, and a history of recent overseas travel.”

It was later revealed that the patient had recently traveled to Europe. Individuals who had close contact with the victim are still being identified and being told to monitor their potential symptoms.

The death was the 8th in the Bay Area since the outbreak began. Six have died in Santa Clara and one person in San Mateo.

On Thursday, Contra Costa health officials said they have had 42 confirmed cases of the virus since the outbreak began. County hospitals have also been used to care for critically ill patients among those quarantined at Travis Air Force Base.

County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said most of the testing in the county was being done by private labs that only report positive tests. He said the county lab was doing between 40-100 tests a day.

That is just a small fraction of the total number of tests being done, according to the doctor.

“Unfortunately, we do expect the numbers of both cases and deaths to go up before they start to go down,” said Dr. Farnitano.

He said county officials are expanding tests every single day. He says they are preparing a health order to require positive and negative tests to be reported. The county hopes they will soon reach a point where everyone who has symptoms can be tested.

“At that point, we will have better information about the total number of testing that’s going on,” said Dr. Farnitano.

The county also started identifying available ventilators and are putting requests out to the state and federal governments to secure more resources.

“We have enough so far for our current needs, but we want to get more so we are prepared for a future surge. So we’re still working to get more,” explained Dr. Farnitano.

There were 477 confirmed cases in all 10 Bay Area counties on Thursday.

  • Alameda County — 38 cases
  • Contra Costa County — 42 cases (1 death)
  • Marin County — 16 cases
  • Napa County — 0 cases
  • San Francisco — 70 cases
  • San Mateo County — 89 cases (1 death)
  • Santa Clara County — 189 cases (70 presumed community, 62 hospitalized, 6 deaths)
  • Santa Cruz County — 14 cases
  • Solano County — 10 cases
  • Sonoma County — 9 cases