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Two more Santa Clara County residents died of COVID-19 over the weekend, bringing the total local death toll from the novel coronavirus to 10, according to the county’s public health department.

The ninth death was a woman in her 60s, who died on March 21, according to county staff. The 10th death was a woman in her 40s, who was hospitalized March 16 and died March 21.

“The Public Health Department expresses our condolences to the families and friends of the deceased,” reads a statement from the public health department.

The county also reported that county officials confirmed 39 new cases of COVID-19 on March 22, bringing the total number of local cases to 302.

One of those testing positive for COVID-19 is Santa Clara County’s Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Maria Leticia Gomez. Gomez became ill on March 13 and her healthcare provider subsequently tested her for the novel coronavirus, according to county staff. On March 22, she received results showing she had tested positive.

Gomez has been in isolation at her residence since she first began showing symptoms on March 13. She is “doing well,” reads the county’s press release.

“The county has instructed all employees, including those who have been in contact with Ms. Gomez, that they should not go to work if they show any symptoms of illness,” reads the county’s press release. “We are also notifying all members of the county workforce with whom Ms. Gomez may have had contact while contagious that they may have been exposed.”

MH staffer in contact with COVID-19 patient

The City of Morgan Hill began a “deep cleaning” of city-owned facilities, starting with City Hall, after learning a city employee has been in close proximity with a person that recently tested positive for COVID-19.

“As city employees that are providing essential city services continue to work at various city facilities through the current emergency, the city anticipates more contacts will occur,” reads a statement from city staff.

As a result, the city on Sunday began a deep cleaning of the City Hall building in compliance with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommendations for COVID-19.

As of March 23, no city employees have tested positive for the virus, according to city staff.

The city’s statement urged all residents to heed statewide and local shelter-at-home orders that were called in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.

So far in the U.S., 33,404 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, according to the CDC website. These cases include 400 deaths.

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Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.


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