SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — The San Francisco Bay Area suffered through the deadliest day so far of the coronavirus outbreak Friday with four new deaths reported — two in Santa Clara County and the first in both Contra Costa and Sonoma counties.
Bay Area health officials reported that there have been 662 confirmed cases in 10 local counties since the outbreak began nearly two months ago. Of those, there have been 11 deaths.
Santa Clara County has been particularly hard hit accounting for eight of the 22 deaths reported in California so far and all but two of the COVID-19 deaths in the Bay Area. Those cases were in San Mateo County, Sonoma County and Contra Costa County.
Health officials said the county’s seventh death was an adult male in his 80s who had been hospitalized on Tuesday, March 3. The eighth death was an adult male in his 70s, but health officials did not provide information on when he had been hospitalized or the date he passed away.
Public health officials expressed their condolences to the families and friends of the two deceased patients.
We are very sorry to announce two deaths from #COVID19, bringing the total to 8. The seventh death was an adult male in his 80s. The eighth death was an adult male in his 70s. We express our condolences to their families and friends. Read more: https://t.co/lcx5wwZSFK pic.twitter.com/oXME82bfik
— Healthy SCC (@HealthySCC) March 20, 2020
The county also reported seven new cases, bringing the total number of cases in Santa Clara County to 263. Officials say they continue to work closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the State of California Department of Public Health, and other partners as the new coronavirus situation continues to change.
Meanwhile, Sonoma County Interim Public health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase said she received the news of her county’s first death as the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus among Sonoma County residents doubled to 22.
The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported that a source with Sutter Santa Rosa confirmed the person died Friday afternoon.
“We need to be prepared for a worsening situation here over the next week,” Mase told the paper, noting that “every case infects another three, so the more cases we have the more cases we get, so this is exactly what we expected.”
Mase did not reveal any additional information on the person who died, including the person’s age or information about how long the person had been sick or if they had traveled outside Sonoma County recently.
In Contra Costa County, health officials announced Friday that a patient in their 70s being treated in a local hospital had 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 were still being identified and being told to monitor their potential symptoms.
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.
“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.