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Napa County reports first death from coronavirus; 15 have tested positive

Napa County reports first death from coronavirus; 15 have tested positive

From the Complete coronavirus coverage from the Napa Valley Register, St. Helena Star, and The Weekly Calistogan series

Napa County on Tuesday afternoon reported its first death of a resident who contracted the novel coronavirus, which has claimed more than 130 Californians and 42,000 people worldwide.

The patient who died Tuesday was an adult who was being treated in a hospital, according to Molly Rattigan, deputy county executive officer. Rattigan’s statement did not disclose the identity or hometown of the patient, or how the person is believed to have contracted COVID-19, citing medical confidentiality laws.

“Our hearts go out to the patient’s family, and friends during this difficult time,” Dr. Karen Relucio, Napa County public health officer, said in the statement.

“More than ever, it is crucial that we practice physical distancing, and if we are sick, even with mild illness, make every effort to self-isolate from others and follow the shelter-at-home order.”

The announcement of the patient’s death came on the same day Napa County’s number of reported infections reached 15, after a person living in the unincorporated county near the city of Napa tested positive for the coronavirus.

Since the first Napa County cases were reported on March 22, every jurisdiction except Yountville has recorded one, the county said. The tally as of mid-day Tuesday: city of Napa, 9; unincorporated Napa County, 3; and one each in American Canyon, Calistoga and St. Helena.

As of Tuesday morning, California has reported 7,477 residents testing positive for the virus with more than 130 dying from the disease, according to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

Updated testing data from Napa County is available at

Editor’s note: Because of the health implications of the COVID-19 virus, this article is being made available free to subscribers and non-subscribers alike. If you’d like to join us in supporting the mission of local journalism, please visit

You can reach Howard Yune at 707-256-2214 or

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Public Safety Reporter

Howard Yune covers public safety for the Napa Valley Register. He has been a reporter and photographer for the Register since 2011, and previously wrote for the Marysville Appeal-Democrat, Anaheim Bulletin and Coos Bay (Oregon) World.

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