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Autopsies confirm first COVID-19 deaths in Santa Clara County were in February


FILE – This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. On Tuesday, April 21, 2020, U.S. health regulators OK’d the first coronavirus test that allows people to collect their own sample at home, a new approach that could help expand testing options in most states. The sample will still have to be shipped for processing back to LabCorp, which operates diagnostic labs throughout the U.S. (NIAID-RML via AP)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KRON) – The Santa Clara County coroner has confirmed that three individuals who died at home in February and March were due to COVID-19.

Officials say they originally thought that the first COVID-19 death in the county was on March 9.

Autopsies were performed on two people who died on February 6 and February 17.

The CDC received tissue samples from the coroner and were able to confirm that both cases were positive for SARS-CoV-2.

The third individual who died on March 6 was also confirmed to have been positive for COVID-19.

In a statement released by the county, it says:

“These three individuals died at home during a time when very limited testing was available only through the CDC. Testing criteria set by the CDC at the time restricted testing to only individuals with a known travel history and who sought medical care for specific symptoms. As the Medical Examiner-Coroner continues to carefully investigate deaths throughout the county, we anticipated additional deaths from COVID-19 will be identified.”

No other details were released on the individuals.

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