The number of COVID-19 cases and deaths around California continue to swell with more casualties reported Wednesday. The surge did not come from the Bay Area, although they were not spared either. The death toll in the state rose to 1,433 while the number of cases swelled to 37,679.
According to Mercury News, the 117 new deaths are the largest since 24-hour COVID-19 tracking started. With the latest reported cases, the count has ballooned to nearly 20 percent this week. More cases have been registered compared to the previous week, although the growth rate has slightly slowed down.
It was last Wednesday when the Bay Area suffered its worst count. The latest reports are the second-deadliest day. And the hardest-hit county of them all is the Santa Clara County. They are now nearing 100 deaths, numbers that were retroactively added, and dates as far back as Feb. 6 when the first fatality in the U.S. was reported, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported.
“This means there was some significant degree of virus transmission in early February, probably late January, and who knows how much earlier,” Dr. Sara Cody, the county’s health officer, said.
But even as the COVID-19 death toll continues to rise at an alarming rate, new cases have somehow subsided in the county. The case count has increased by about 9 percent the past week, the slowest rate by any county over in the Bay Area.
In related news, ABC7 News reported that autopsy results show that two residents in Santa Clara County died of the coronavirus back in February. This was weeks before the first case in the country was reported.
“What these deaths tell us is that we had community translation probably to a significant degree far earlier than we had known,” Dr. Sara Cody, the county’s chief health officer, said. “When you have an outcome like death or ICU, that means that there’s some iceberg of cases of unknown size that underlie those iceberg tips.”
The two individuals were reportedly a 57-year-old woman named Patricia Dowd from San Jose and an unnamed 69-year-old man. Both are unrelated.
The woman passed away last Feb. 6 while the elderly man died on Feb. 17. They died at home and had no known travel history to China or anywhere else that could have exposed them to the COVID-19 strain.
Per her family, Dowd was in good health and involved in spin and aerobics classes. She was not taking any kind of medication. They also revealed that Dowd worked at Lam Research, a job she loved because she was able to travel, often to parts of Europe.
Patricia’s brother mentioned that her sister was supposed to attend a funeral in Stockton but suddenly fell ill. She passed away a short time later but her case was not deemed COVID-19-related at the time.