Tulare County Public Health Branch Announces First Death Related to 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

A Press Release from Tulare County Health and Human Services

The County of Tulare Public Health Branch confirms the first death from COVID-19 in the county. The person who passed away was the third positive case of COVID-19 reported by the Tulare County Public Health Branch on March 16, 2020 and had been hospitalized for several weeks. The patient passed away on March 28, 2020. The patient’s exposure continues to be unknown.

“Public Health extends our deepest condolences to the patient’s loved ones in the wake of this tragedy. We are facing an historic public health challenge and know this is a very difficult time,” said Dr. Karen Haught, Tulare County Public Health Officer. “Our top priority continues to be protecting the health of our community, and we continue to ask that community members protect themselves and their loved ones by staying home.”

The Tulare County Public Health Branch continues to work closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and our local partners as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve.

Again, we ask community members to follow the governor’s stay-at-home order to “flatten the curve” and slow the spread of COVID-19.

Please take action to protect yourself from COVID-19 by following guidance concerning health hygiene, such as staying home, social distancing when shopping for essential goods, washing hands, covering coughs/sneezes, staying home when ill, and avoiding sick people, along with frequently washing surfaces with regular home cleaners.

The Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency is diligent about the protection of patient privacy, in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and for this reason we cannot release any other information about the patient. The information we release about the positive COVID-19 cases in Tulare County is carefully curated to provide useful information to our community members, while also excluding information that would lead to the identification of patients. This is a protection, provided by law, that is extended to everyone.

Updates continue to be available on our website: www.tchhsa.org.

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  1. Really, I don’t want the name or other information that would identify the patient that supposedly died from CoVid but it would be nice to have a few more details since they don’t know how the person was infected, like the general age and if there was some underlying health issues. Why tell us about the death at all if it’s not going to do anything more than cause more panic.

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