Man in his 70s, Grand Princess passenger, Marin County's first COVID-19 death

The Grand Princess cruise ship, docked at the Port of Oakland, discharges passengers exposed to the COVID-19 coronavirus in preparation for quarantines, during an outbreak of the disease in Northern California, Oakland, California, March 12, 2020. (P

A man in his 70s who was hospitalized for three weeks is the first COVID-19 death in Marin County, health officials said on Friday. 

The patient was the county's first reported case of the disease, back on March 9. They were a passenger on the Grand Princess- Mexican Riviera cruise ship that returned to San Francisco on February 21.

Officials said the man died on Friday. 

“This is a heartbreaking development in our work to limit the impact of COVID-19 locally,” said Dr. Lisa Santora, Marin’s Deputy Health Officer. “This unfortunate death further shows how serious this virus is and how necessary it is for our community to continue to shelter in place and take bold measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Marin.

The health department recognized the patient as one of the eldest confirmed COVID-19 cases. They also acknowledged this case is unrelated to a death reported by Novato Police Department on Thursday. That case is not suspected to be related to the novel coronavirus, Marin Public Health said. 

Health officials urge residents to remain vigilant and to continue to shelter-in-place as the pandemic continues to spread. Marin County has 68 confirmed cases of the disease as of Friday.