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Coronavirus Update: Santa Clara Toll Reaches 103 Victims; 6 More Flu Deaths Reclassified As COVID-19 Fatalities

SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) -- The death toll from the COVID-19 outbreak grew to 103 in Santa Clara County Monday including six individuals who were previously ruled to have been flu victims but on re-examination by the medical examiner were found to be infected with the coronavirus.

Over the last week, the medical examiner has reclassified nine deaths in the county from flu victims to coronavirus deaths including 57-year-old Patricia Dowd, who passed away on Feb. 6 and maybe the first victim to die of the illness in the United States.

Two other deaths on February 17th and March 6th were of elderly men. On Friday, the medical examiner sent a letter to the county Board of Supervisors informing them of the six new classifications.

Of the 29 flu deaths that have been reexamined so far and tested, nine were now being accredited to COVID-19. And more by be coming.

"Some cases are not yet closed and were not included in the current COVID-19 death count," medical examiner Dr. Michelle Jorden wrote in the letter.

There was no indication to the supervisors whether or not any of the deaths occurred before Dowd passed away. No names or dates were included.

Santa Clara County has been the earliest and hardest hit by the coronavirus in the San Francisco Bay Area's 10-county region. As of Monday there have been 103 deaths and more than 2,100 confirmed cases since the outbreak began in January.

Of those deaths, 59 percent have been among males and 83 percent have been in individuals 71 years old and older. Individuals of Latino/Hispanic ethnicity have accounted for 32 percent of the fatalities with those of Asian ethnicity have accounted for 34 percent. Santa Clara County residents classified as white have accounted for 24 percent.

As of Sunday, there were 172 Santa Clara County residents being treated in the hospital for COVID-19 infections. Of those 77 were being treated in the ICU and 82 were classified as acutely ill.

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