SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — Nearly 18,000 people in Santa Clara County have died since 2018, county data shows.
The numbers are derived from the latest online tool from the Santa Clara County’s Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office that breaks down case data of all deaths reviewed by the office since 2018.
The dashboard provides basic demographics, including age, race, gender, ZIP code, cause, and manner of death for all cases — with all personal identifying information removed.
“These case records and analytics provide a unique lens through which to examine different aspects of deaths in Santa Clara County, whether by cause, in a particular geographical area, or within a certain segment of the community,” said Dr. Michelle Jorden, Santa Clara County Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner.
“In addition to providing the public with nightly updated case information, the analytical tools can help government agencies or nonprofits identify possible trends in target areas for potential intervention opportunities.”
Total deaths (from 2/6/2020 to 2/14/2022)
- 11,438 total NJA deaths (also known as No Jurisdiction Assumed, where the deceased was without medical care for 36 hours preceding death and death is thought to be from natural causes).
- 5,781 total ME-C deaths (people who died from unnatural causes such as homicide, accident, suicide, or suspicious circumstances).
- 290 total indigent deaths (a person with no assets, no known family or whose family cannot afford to handle disposition).
- 172 total storage deaths (a deceased person whose body is brought from a facility or home because there is no known family or family cannot be found).
- 131 total records review deaths (a case where the Medical Examiner reviews medical records for the cause of death determination without having the body transported and examined by the Medical Examiner).
- 92 total out-of-county deaths (when an agency assumed jurisdiction of a death that occurred in Santa Clara County but the incident that led to death originated in their/outside county).
- 37 total pending deaths (apparent natural death pending affirmation from primary care physician to sign the death certificate).
- 30 total field sign-out deaths (where an investigator responds to the scene and examines the body, the body is then released to the funeral home of the family’s choice instead of being brought into the Medical Examiners-Coroner’s Office).
- 3 cremated remains deaths (cremated remains that have been found or abandoned. The cremains are brought into the Medical Examiners-Coroner’s Office and a new permit is issued for indigent scattering).
- 2 pending/storage deaths (apparent natural deaths pending affirmation from primary care physician to sign the death certificate. The body is then brought into the Medical Examiners-Coroner’s Office on a “storage” basis because the family is unknown or unable to be located).
Deaths by demographics
According to county data, most deaths since 2018 occurred in Santa Clara County’s Districts 2 and 4.
In District 2, most of the deaths since then have been recorded in East San Jose — in comparison to District 4, where most of its most concentrated deaths came from two hospitals.
More than 2,200 people have died in East San Jose (District 2) since 2018.
In District 4, most deaths came from Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (2,162 deaths) and Good Samaritan Hospital (1,213 deaths).
The dashboard includes useful tools to assist in data research, covering specific areas such as cause of death, including homicides, suicides, accidents, drug overdoses, and COVID-19 deaths.
Since 2018, there have been 839 unhoused (homeless) deaths, 652 suicides, 223 homicides, 329 firearm deaths, and 53 in-custody deaths.
The data also includes the nearly 2,500 Santa Clara County residents that have died from COVID-19.
In total there have been 1,147 total drug-related deaths — including 430 opioid-related deaths, with 244 of those linked to fentanyl.
Additionally, the dashboard provides a “John/Jane Doe” page with case information and sketches for individuals who remain unidentified in an effort to encourage the public to assist in identifying the deceased.
“We are committed to transparency and this dashboard is another venue to continue that commitment,” Dr. Jorden said.
“Because the cause and manner of death and autopsy reports are public records, it made sense for us to develop a resource for the public to have immediate access to downloadable data specific to their interest.
The county’s Medical Examiner-Coroner says it created the dashboard in partnership with the county’s Technology Services and Solutions Department.
To access the new dashboard, click here.