Coronavirus Was In California Earlier Than Previously Realized
Santa Clara, CA — Autopsies conducted in the Bay Area show that people died from coronavirus on February 6 and 17, which was weeks before the country’s initial first confirmed fatality on February 29 in Kirkland, Washington.
The information was released by Santa Clara County public health officials. What is also significant, is that neither of the deaths were related to a travel history, meaning that it was contracted via community transmission. Health officials note that it typically takes 2-3 weeks from the time you contract the virus to pass away. So, it was likely mid-January when the first case was contracted.
Santa Clara County health officials are now planning to go back and review several other deaths, going back as far as December.
The findings will help officials better understand the virus and when it first started spreading. The announcement was made ahead of Governor Gavin Newsom’s noon press conference today where he is planning to lay out more information about the state’s planning for relaxing regulations and restrictions.
The Associated Press reports that much of the ability to relax regulations is tied to available testing. The state is averaging 14,500 tests per day. That is an increase from the 2,000 tests per day at the beginning of April. California has over 35,600 confirmed coronavirus cases.