First COVID-19 death in Butte County

(Image courtesy of Centers for Disease Control & Prevention)

On Monday (June 1), in addition to reporting that seven new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Butte County, Public Health announced the first local death attributed to the disease.

“I’m very sad to announce that we’ve lost one of our community members to this illness. This news hits us hard,” said Public Health Director Danette York in a press release.

The county released few specifics about about the victim, noting only that the person “passed away while hospitalized, was over 65 years of age and experienced multiple underlying health conditions.” Details about where they were hospitalized or where they lived were not disclosed.

In a phone interview, Public Health Communications Manager Lisa Almaguer said that the decedent was from the designated “other” region on county’s list of confirmed COVID-19 cases—i.e., one of the smaller Butte County communities outside of Chico, Oroville and Gridley. She also said that Public Health’s investigation of the case, which included contact tracing, is complete and that the department has reached everyone who may have interacted with the individual.

In the three weeks since the implementation of stage two reopening in Butte County, the number of COVID-19 cases has more than tripled—from 16 on May 9 to 51 as of June 1.

Public Health advises that residents stay diligent with sanitation and physical distancing guidelines, and reminds those in increased-risk categories—those over 65 years old and people with chronic health issues—“should continue to stay home as much as possible to limit their exposure to the virus.”

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