As of 1 p.m. on March 29, there are 44 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one death resulting from the virus in Santa Cruz County. 

The Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency announced the county’s first COVID-19-related death on March 29. According to a county press release, the individual was an adult male in his early 70s with an underlying health condition. He was admitted to a local hospital on March 19 with a fever and shortness of breath and died on March 28. 

The majority of cases in Santa Cruz County have occurred in individuals between 18 and 65 years old. County officials stress the importance of sheltering in place and physical distancing. 

“We are deeply saddened to have one of our community members die due to this outbreak,” said Santa Cruz County Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel in a press release. “Our top priority is protecting the lives of our community members, and we are working hard to make sure these solemn occasions are as rare as possible.”