Berkeley Announces City's First Death Due to COVID-19

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Berkeley Health Officer Dr. Lisa Hernandez announced Thursday that a resident in their 40s has died of the new coronavirus, the first such death the city has seen so far in the pandemic.

Hernandez said the resident had underlying health problems, which she said data shows makes people more likely to suffer severe illness from COVID-19.

She said people over the age of 60 also are more susceptible to severe illness but the coronavirus affects people of all ages.

“I am deeply saddened by the news of the first COVID-19 death in Berkeley and my condolences go out to their family," Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin said in a statement.

"We all have the power to reduce the spread of this virus and the deaths and heartache it creates. We must all follow the shelter-in-place order to protect ourselves, our neighbors, family and those most at risk,” Arreguin said.

Hernandez said, "This tragic death is a reminder that none of us can afford to dismiss the threat from this disease. It can affect anyone, with consequences as severe as death."

She said, "This death is also a sad reminder of the urgency to shelter in place." Hernandez said the resident's death is one of 17 lab-confirmed COVID-19 deaths in Alameda County, 442 in the state and 12,745 in the nation. She said 34 people in Berkeley have tested positive for the virus so far.

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