• California's earliest COVID-19 linked deaths happened earlier in February
  • These deaths happened on Feb. 6, Feb. 17 and March 6
  • Gov. Gavin Newsom continued to ask Californians to follow social distancing rules

Officials from California have possibly discovered the location of the earliest COVID-19 connected deaths in the United States. Officials have said that it may have occurred in Santa Clara County, where autopsies of three people who died at home between February and March had tested positive for the virus.

According to Fox News, these deaths happened on Feb. 6, Feb. 17 and March 6. The two dates are way earlier than the COVID-19-related death of a Washington man recorded on Feb. 29. Prior to the discovery of the Santa Monica COVID-19 cases, it was initially believed that the Washington man was “patient zero” or the first coronavirus death recorded in the U.S.

California County officials learned these results Tuesday after samples from the February deaths were sent to the CDC for testing. According to the county's official statement, the three died at home during a time when testing was very limited and was only available courtesy of the CDC.

Meanwhile, Gov. Gavin Newsom again reminded Californians to continue to follow stay-at-home directives during the length of the quarantine. KTLA reported that he issued this reminded following pressure from demonstrators who have called on the governor to re-open the state economy.

Concerns on the potential spike in the number of COVID-19 infections among Californians grew amid the anti-lockdown demonstrations. Newsom shared that the state's death toll is already up to 1,268 or a 5% increase from the previous day. He also reminded everyone that pulling back from current methods would bring them somewhere worse than just back to square one.

Newsom added that the state, despite efforts being done to prevent more people from getting infected, hasn’t seen enough evidence of a decline in infected numbers. Patients suffering from the virus had continued to come in, prompting the state to carry on with the quarantine to prevent more transmissions.

Deaths like those of the three earliest known coronavirus-related deaths had been undetected previously because of the CDC’s testing methods. It was revealed that the criteria the CDC followed for virus testing were limited only to individuals with known travel history. Patients who came in experiencing specific COVID-19 related symptoms were also given priority over others.

coronavirus mask litter the streets causing authorities to react
coronavirus mask litter the streets causing authorities to react Jasmin Sessler - Pixabay