Four months after the first round of COVID-19 business shutdowns, an elderly Calaveras County resident has died from complications related to the disease.

Calaveras County Public Health confirmed Monday that the first COVID-19 patient to die in the county was a male over the age of 65 from District 4. The man reportedly had underlying health conditions, was “unable to recover,” and died while in hospice at his home.

Due to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy rules, the health department has not released any additional information regarding the deceased man.

“We are deeply saddened with the loss of life related to COVID-19 and offer our deepest condolences to the family. We must stay vigilant and continue to do our part to protect ourselves, our family, and our community,” county Health Officer Dean Kelaita, MD, said in a press release. “Please remember that this was someone’s parent, sibling, friend or neighbor. Our actions can be life-altering and affect real people in our community, so let’s do everything we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to save lives.”

Currently, Calaveras is the only county in the Mother Lode region that has lost a resident to COVID-19.

However, a resident of San Joaquin County who tested positive for the disease reportedly died in an Amador County hospital earlier this month. That case was not included in Amador County’s reported total of 57 cases.

Calaveras County reports 87 total cases of COVID-19, with 53 still active, but no current hospitalizations. Case numbers in Tuolumne County have surpassed Calaveras County in recent weeks, with 101 reported cases and five currently hospitalized.

Over 390,000 cases and 7,600 deaths have been reported throughout California. Los Angeles County has been by far the most heavily impacted in the state, with over 156,000 cases and 4,000 deaths reported.

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Dakota graduated from Bret Harte in 2013 and went to Davidson College, NC where she earned a bachelor's degree in Arab studies. After spending time studying in the Middle East and Europe, she is happy to be home, writing about the community she loves.

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