A woman in Northern California died of COVID-19 Monday, authorities said, making her at least the second person in the state to die from the virus.
The patient was a woman in her 60s who had no known history of international travel or contact with a person who was infected, leading officials to believe she contracted the virus within the county's local community, according to the Santa Clara County Public Health Department.
She was hospitalized for several weeks before she died at El Camino Hospital on Monday, officials said.
The only other confirmed death from the novel coronavirus in California was that of an elderly man with underlying health issues in Placer County.
“This is a tragic development. The Public Health Department is taking necessary, carefully considered steps to slow down the spread of the disease and to protect those at greatest risk,” Dr. Sara Cody, the county's health officer, said in a news release.
Last week, Santa Clara County health officials reported another fatality that could be linked to the coronavirus. But they never confirmed the virus was to blame.
Health officials later clarified that the woman's death is the first confirmed COVID-19 fatality within Santa Clara County. They did not release further details about her prior medical history or locations she may have visited.
Also on Monday, Los Angeles County health officials reported the first possible case of community spread of the virus within the county.