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April 2, 2020

COVID-19 cases grow to nine in Santa Clara County

The number of reported cases of county and national COVID-19 continued to grow on a daily basis this week, as the Santa Clara County Public Health Department confirmed two new cases on March 2, bringing the total number of county cases to nine—one of 10 cases in the entire U.S.

The ninth case is an adult male household contact of a previously confirmed case in Santa Clara County, who is under home isolation, according to the latest announcement. The eighth case in the county is an adult male household contact of a confirmed case in another county. Santa Clara County reported he is under home isolation.

Due to medical privacy requirements and to protect their identity, further information about these cases was released.

The local announcements came as health officials in Washington state said Monday that four more Seattle-area residents died from infections of the new coronavirus, bringing the state’s death toll to six—the only fatalities of COVID-19 so far in the U.S., where 15 states now have confirmed cases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported March 2 that the U.S. COVID-19 total had risen to 91, with nearly 90,000 cases reported worldwide. The disease that emerged in central China has hit at least 70 countries, with 3,100 deaths. The vast majority of cases and deaths have been in China, where the number of new cases has declined for weeks, but the CDC said the virus continues to spread fast in South Korea, Iran and Italy.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department said it will continue to identify anyone who has come into contact with the nine county cases. The department announced it also will be conducting community surveillance “to determine the extent of possible disease spread in our community.” 

All county cases reported so far were adults.

The fourth case of COVID-19 in Santa Clara County, identified late last week, is an adult woman who is a household contact of the third Santa Clara County case. She is not hospitalized or ill. 

The fifth case was an adult woman with chronic health conditions who is hospitalized. The sixth and seventh cases are a husband and wife. Both are hospitalized, and the husband has chronic health conditions. The couple recently traveled to Egypt.

The county had announced its first COVID-19 case on Jan. 31, a week before the CDC began distributing a limited supply of test kits to select centers across the U.S. On Feb. 20, the first case was released from isolation, fully recovered. He was never hospitalized. 

On Feb. 2, the second case was announced, who remains in home isolation and has never been hospitalized. 

On Feb. 28, a third COVID-19 case was hospitalized. 

“We expected more cases of COVID-19 in our county and have been preparing for community transmission,” said the health department statement. “Since the disease is here, an important priority for the department will be to conduct community surveillance to determine the extent of local spread. The County Public Health Laboratory has the ability to test for the virus and can identify cases quickly and take appropriate action. The County of Santa Clara Public Health Department is also working closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the State of California Department of Public Health, and other partners to protect and inform the public.”

Health officials repeated these precautions: “Keep your hands clean by washing them frequently, especially after you touch common surfaces, such as doorknobs, elevator buttons, handrails, light switches, countertops, and tables. It is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Always cover your cough with your sleeve or a tissue, and stay home when you are sick. Stay away from people who are sick, and stay home if you are sick. Information will be updated at http://sccphd.org/coronavirus

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