SANTA CLARA COUNTY (KRON/AP) – Officials in Santa Clara County on Monday announced a ban of all large gatherings of at least 1,000 people for the rest of the month in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The announcement came hours after the public health department reported the first death in the county from the coronavirus.

A woman in her 60’s had been hospitalized for several weeks with the virus before dying, according to officials.

Six more cases of the coronavirus were confirmed in Santa Clara County on Monday, bringing the total number of cases to 43, the most in the Bay Area.

“Today’s order and new recommendations will reduce the number of people who develop severe illness and will help prevent our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County Health Officer. “This is critically important for anyone with healthcare needs, not just those most vulnerable to serious illness from COVID-19.”

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover. In mainland China, where the virus first exploded, more than 80,000 people have been diagnosed and more than 58,000 have so far recovered.

The ban leaves the fate uncertain for three upcoming sporting events in the area – San Jose Sharks hockey games, the NCAA women’s basketball tournament at Stanford, and one MLS game.

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