SANTA CRUZ (CBS SF) – The Santa Cruz County Public Health Division announced Wednesday the eighth COVID-19-related death in the county.

The resident, a Hispanic man in his early 40s, had underlying health conditions, but COVID-19 was ruled the primary cause of death. He died in his home in South County, according to the county’s public health division.

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The county Public Health Communicable Disease Unit is currently investigating how he contracted the infection and contact tracing is underway.

Santa Cruz County has seen the rate of new cases drop, but the virus still disproportionately impacts residents of South County and members of the Latinx community.

The Latinx population makes up nearly 33 percent of the county’s population but about 63 percent of COVID-19 cases, according to the county’s information dashboard.

The statistics for South County are strikingly similar: its residents make up 29 percent of the population but about 62 percent of positive cases.

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As of Wednesday, the county still has 230 active cases; and of the 2,108 total positive cases in the county, 139 required hospitalization while infected with coronavirus, according to the county dashboard.

The county encourages those experiencing symptoms to contact their health care provider for testing and follow up care.

There is also a county-sponsored testing site at Ramsay Park in Watsonville open Wednesday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Residents can make appointments online at or by calling (888) 634-1123.

Residents can also call (831) 454-4242 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to ask COVID-19 related questions or the 2-1-1 hotline outside of those hours.

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