Two people sick with coronavirus died in California weeks before the first death by the coronavirus that had been reported in United StatesHealth authorities said Tuesday.
The two people died at home on February 6 and 17, according to Santa Clara county authorities. The first documented death from the virus in the United States was on February 29 in Kirkland, Washington.
The coroner received confirmation Tuesday that tissue samples sent to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had tested positive for the virus, authorities said.
The announcement came after California Governor Gavin Newsom promised a “deep” briefing Wednesday on the state’s ability to test and identify and isolate infected people. That, he pointed out, is one of the six indicators that he described as keys to lifting a confinement order that has slowed the spread of the disease and forced millions of people to apply for unemployment benefits.
“Obviously this will come to the obvious questions and issues we all ask ourselves: When? … When will they see some relief so we can let some of this pressure out?” Newsom said Tuesday.