SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) — Health officials in Marin County on Friday confirmed that a man who had been a passenger on the Grand Princess has become the county’s first death related to coronavirus.

In a press release, Marin County’s Department of Health and Human Services announced that the patient who passed away was an adult male in his 70s who had been hospitalized for nearly three weeks.

On March 9, the man was reported as the first case of COVID-19 in a Marin County resident having been exposed to the virus as a passenger on the Grand Princess, the cruise ship that returned to San Francisco on February 21. The patient died Friday afternoon.

“This is a heartbreaking development in our work to limit the impact of COVID-19 locally,” said Marin County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Lisa Santora. “This unfortunate death further shows how serious this virus is and how necessary it is for our community to continue to shelter in place and take bold measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Marin.”

The Marin County Public Health Division staff is working closely with local hospital personnel as well as state and federal health officials to monitor residents who have confirmed cases of COVID-19 and coordinate the testing and monitoring of patients.

Marin HHS estimates nearly 700 individuals have been tested at its field-testing site, in addition to testing efforts conducted by hospitals and medical facilities. A total of 69 cases have been confirmed in the county as of Friday.

The patient who died Friday was among Marin’s eldest confirmed COVID-19 cases, highlighting the particular vulnerability of older residents to the disease. For more information on cases in Marin County, visit the county’s Heath and Human Services Department website.

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